NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Last week, two kayaks belonging to ‘All Out Adventures’ were stolen from Northampton Community Rowing off of Damon Road, but days later the group was able to get back out on the water.
All Out Adventures is a program for seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities to get out and try activities like kayaking and bike riding. Last Monday, two of their kayaks were stolen.
“Each one was worth $1,000, so that was a big hit for us,” said All Out Adventures’ Executive Director, Karen Foster.
Foster told 22News with their next program just a few days away, they needed them to be returned, or they’d have to turn people away.
“On Monday, we had a stroke survivor who for the first time in the year since his stroke, he went kayaking,” Foster said. “Like that’s what our program does for people, and every time we work there is a story like that, and I never know what it is going to be, but I don’t ever want to call somebody and tell them they can’t come.”
The group filed a police report and made a public appeal asking for the kayaks to be returned. Their Facebook post gained some attention, and more than $1,000 was raised to replace the kayaks.
The story also caught the attention of some parents in town, who figured out their 18-year-old sons were the ones who stole them.
“That’s when all of the parents figured out what had happened, so they helped the boys return the kayaks to the Northampton Police Department,” Foster told 22News. “They brought them back here for us. I kind of couldn’t believe it, I never thought we’d see them again.”
The group got the kayaks back in time for their next kayaking program. Foster said she and the detectives from the Northampton Police Department decided not to press charges, as the teen had no criminal history, and had owned up to the theft.
The money raised to replace the kayaks is still being put to good use.
“Now we’re going to be able to use that,” Foster explained. “We’ll keep one of the kayaks, and a new locking system to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Now the police are asking for help to find three Adirondack chairs worth $175 each stolen from outside of the Forbes Library.