Community rallies to replace bike stolen on Lancaster boy's 9th birthday

Leo Stallworth Image
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Community rallies to replace bike stolen from 9-year-old Lancaster boy
When a bicycle was stolen from a Lancaster boy on his 9th birthday, Big Rich with AV News Crew stepped up to help.

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- Many of us might be able to recall the joy of getting a bike as a birthday present when we were young.

So, imagine the shock and disappointment of finding your bicycle stolen - on your birthday.

That's exactly what happened to an Antelope Valley boy.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.

Jackson Pabonstandish turned 9 on Jan. 12 and on that day he wanted to get in a bike ride around his Lancaster neighborhood - but couldn't find it.

"We went out back and looked and - nothing," said the boy's mother, Kendra Pabon. "So we came to the conclusion that somebody had stolen it on his birthday."

With a huge family and a tight budget, Kendra and her husband knew trying to replace the bike would be a real struggle. They even talked about getting him new wheels from the thrift store.

Kendra brainstormed with her son.

"I was like so what should we do? And he said we got to call Big Rich. We have to call him and tell him what happened. He was more upset because he didn't want it to happen to anybody else."

Big Rich is Richard Monge, a news gatherer with the AV News Crew, which puts the word out on Antelope Valley happenings through social media platforms.

"How many kids ride bicycles today? I actually used to race and ride BMX," Monge said. "But like I said it just touched my heart."

Monge put the word out seeking help to get Jackson a new bike. He even dug into his own pocket to contribute. He's moved to tears when recalling how three other people stepped up to help contribute.

They got Jackson a new bike. He hopped on immediately and has been pedaling his way around ever since.

His mom is grateful.

"Big Rich does a lot for our community," Kendra said. "He's always out helping everybody in need. He gets very little recognition and asks for nothing in return so this is a big deal for him. It's important that Jackson got his bike but it's more important to us that Richard gets the recognition."