UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — A Trek bicycle belonging to the first female American soldier to lose a limb in combat in the Iraq War was stolen from a Ukrainian Village garage, and the paratriathlete would like to get the word out in case anyone has seen her distinctive bike.
"You feel violated. It's personalized to me. I use it pretty frequently when I am not pregnant. It's unfortunate," Melissa Stockwell said of the theft of her bike, stolen from her garage within the last week.
It has red-white-and-blue tires and handlebars.
"I would imagine whoever stole it took the colors off," Stockwell, 34, said.
Alisa Hauser says Stockwell is still hoping someone can track down her bike:
The frame of the black Trek bike is decorated with the American flag and Wounded Warrior project stickers, a nod to the nonprofit organization that helped Stockwell train for the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, where she competed in three swimming events.
Stockwell was the first female American soldier to lose a limb in combat in the Iraq War, after a roadside bomb exploded on April 13, 2004.
"It has sentimental value," Stockwell said of the bike.
Stockwell filed a police report on the burglary Tuesday after returning from an out-of-town trip, so she was unsure of when the bike was taken from her garage in the 900 block of North Wood Street.
Stockwell and her fiance share a garage in a five-story building with three duplexes.
"The bike was not locked up. It is my fault for not having it locked it," Stockwell said.
Stockwell, who is pregnant with a baby boy, due in November, said that she was training on the bike until recently when it became "tough to reach the handlebars."
Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago Police Department spokesman, confirmed that the burglary happened between 9 a.m. Sept. 19 and 8 p.m. Sept. 23, according to a police report.
Anyone with information on Stockwell's bike can call the Near West Police District at 312-746-8396.
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