Thieves steal kayaks from cancer patient

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – As the weather gets better and folks dust of their kayaks and canoes police say it’s normal to see a rise in boat thefts, but over the weekend there was an especially cruel crime when someone stole from a cancer patient.

Sometime over the weekend somebody stole two kayaks from Kim Wiedling’s yard on the 25000-block of Lake Road near Simonton Lake.

“My father purchased them for our children the first year we moved to the lake,” Wiedling explained.  “I probably use them at least three or four times a week.”

Wiedling is battling breast cancer and had been hoping to use the kayaks to relax during her recovery.

"That's one thing I was looking forward to, after all this is over,” she explained.  “It was kind of like my little symbol of hope."

Wiedling first noticed the two canoes were missing on Sunday and believes they were taken on either Friday or Saturday.  After reporting the theft to the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department she said the case took a bizarre turn.

"After I talked to the officer and filed the initial report, I left down a neighboring street and saw some juveniles with the kayaks on top of their car,” Wiedling described.  “I tried to follow them, unfortunately they were way too fast for me."

By the time a deputy arrived Wiedling said the suspected thieves were gone.

“When the officer came back he said he went to the house and there was no one there,” she explained.  “I think he had the wrong house or who knows what was going on there, but they were definitely in the neighborhood.”

Wiedling said that having to deal with the theft of the kayaks, valued together at just under $700, isn’t helping her battle with cancer.

“It’s not just the monetary value, we’re going through a very stressful time in life right now and this is just one other thing that we really didn’t need,” she described.  “I'm not interested in pursuing them or pressing charges, I just want my boats back for my personal recovery, if I find them tomorrow morning in my front yard that would be awesome."

Both boats are sit-on-top kayaks, one is orange and the other is yellow.

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