Destination: bicycle shop

Good samaritan helps coffee shop employee after bike is stolen

Matt McPherson
Rusty Strait hands Devon a new bike after his was stolen from behind Destination Coffee Bar and Bistro.

■ Matt McPherson / Contributed

Recently a 19 year-old named Devon, an employee at the Destination Coffee House and Bistro, had his bicycle stolen. When some friends picked him up after work, he left the bike parked outside against the side of the building. During the night, someone managed to lift it over the spiked-steel fencing and made off with it. Imagine that in Hemet!
Now, I would ask, what does a clique of customers who dominate the largest table in the café have to do with his bike? So here’s the skinny on that. You might think they all hated each other if you listened in to their disagreements on politics or any other subject that might end up with diverse ideas, but there is still a lot of love between them.
One morning when Rusty Strait, a reporter from the Valley Chronicle, arrived to take “his” seat at the table, he ran into Devon as he was raising the umbrellas for the day.
Devon said, “Somebody stole my bike last night.” He explained the details and went about his business. Rusty decided to do something about it. While sipping his morning tea, he told Jennifer about it and she wanted in on it. Then Jennifer told Irma and then Mario, Rob and Dallas were brought in on the idea. Before the day was done, they had all become good scouts and decided to contribute to the small philanthropy.
By noon, Rusty was discussing the situation with the owner of The Hemet Bike Shop who did not have the bike he was looking for, but contributed an accessory and referred him down the street to The Big Five Sporting Goods store. Big Five had exactly one such bicycle in stock on display. Being the community conscious folks that they are, the manager climbed up on a ladder and brought it down from a ledge. Not only did he understand urgency of the situation, he also provided a chain with combination lock in a really good deal. The manager even loaded it onto the back of Rusty’s pick-up.
After arriving back at Destination barely ahead of closing, Rusty nonchalantly went into the kitchen and explained to owner Gio Yepremian what was had been done. Gio then sent Devon outside to check on something. He opened the door and saw the reporter standing there with a beautiful, new and blue multi-geared bike. Devon commented, “You got a new bike?
Rusty grinned and said, “No, you have a new bike.”
It was one of those “pull out the tissues” moments. Yes, a guy like me does shed a tear here and there. But most importantly, it shows that odds and ends do come together to make a whole and in this case. The moment filled the hearts of the benefactors with joy and embraced a young man with the spirit of Christmas.
We all know that our city of Hemet has a heart and isn’t it interesting that part of it is in the heart of town.

Rusty Strait, a senior reporter with The Valley Chronicle, contributed to this story.

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