ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - St. Petersburg Police are looking for a thief who targeted an elderly man. The 94-year-old had stepped into the store for just a few moments when someone took off with his expensive motorized tricycle.
It happened July 18th outside the CVS on 6th Street South. He'd ridden the trike about a mile from his home and parked it on the sidewalk. Griffin was inside for about 15 minutes buying eye drops and other items. When he came back outside, the tricycle was gone.
"Teenagers, just singing, 'now you see it, now you don't, now you see it, now you don't," Griffin recalled. "In that moment, you don't even think. It just hits you. Like, it hits you with a 2-by-4 on the head. It was just, run inside and tell the girl to call the police."
Surveillance video shows a man walk up to the trike. He studies it for a few seconds. It's motorized and requires a key to operate, so, it's not easy to steal.
"In the video, you see him trying to ride it," said St. Pete Police Spokesperson, Yolanda Fernandez. "He realizes he can't and the thief just kind of rolls it around the corner."
St. Pete Police estimate the tricycle is worth $2,700. According to Griffin's manual, it's a Cozy Trike LE brand. Police don't think it'll travel far.
"Because it requires keys to operate, you can't even pawn it," Fernandez said. "So, we are hoping someone might know where it is or whoever took it might have dumped in an alley or something and we can recover it for Mr. Griffin."
At age 94, Griffin's body may be slowing down, but, his mind is sharp as a whip. And, he has places to go, groceries to buy and medication to pick up.
His motorized tricycle got him there. With this kind of crime, Griffin was robbed of more than just three wheels. He lost his freedom and his only way to get around.
"My lifeline," he called it. "It makes a hole, a hole in my life, the way I live."
If you’ve seen this motorized trike, or think you know who took it, please call the St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780, or text SPPD and your anonymous tip to TIP-411 (847-411).