Someone has stolen an electric bike from an international student from Mexico who came to Port Coquitlam to improve his family's life.
Alberto Cabrera, who is studying international supply management at Douglas College, is trying to figure out the next steps after someone made off with his expensive e-bike while he was grocery shopping at Save-On-Foods.
The theft occurred on June 28 around 11 a.m. when Cabrera was in the Prairie Avenue store for roughly 20 minutes.
Although the bike was locked to the rack, someone managed to break the lock and disappear through the busy intersection.
Cabrera was shocked to find the bike gone.
"When I came out, I couldn't find anything," he told the Tri-City News, explaining he has since filed an RCMP report and another with 529 Garage.
The black Hoterbike purchased on Amazon was an investment from his life savings, Cabrera said, and was also important transportation because he used it to deliver meals to UberEats customers.
Working gave Cabrera flexibility because he can work up to 20 hours on his student visa and the online food delivery service allowed him to work around his afternoon classes.
Now, he's out of work and the missing income is adding stress to his young family, which includes his wife and two daughters.
"We are being tested," Cabrera acknowledged.
Fortunately, the communities of Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam are helping out.
At the suggestion of a local resident, the couple has set up a GoFundMe page to replace the bike, which is more than half way towards its $1,500 goal, as of this publication (July 4).
Many have also provided tips about the missing bike, including a possible sighting of someone riding it while carrying another bike.
However, the tip has not been confirmed and Cabrera said he has given up finding the bike after several days of searching.
Still, Cabrera said he's not giving up his dream of living in Canada and raising his daughters here.
He explains he came to Canada in the hopes of providing a better life for his family, and despite the "terrible" theft, his plans haven't changed, which includes getting a full-time job after completing his studies and gain permanent residency for his family.
"We are in the best place with the best community [for] our children to grow up," said Cabrera.
"We decided to come to here for better opportunities and living."
In another positive development, Cabrera has an interview with someone who helps people get jobs, and they might be able to get a job for his wife, as well.
"I think this is a test for us in order to get a stronger union with our family and this kind of support form community," Cabrera said.