Community raises money for Jenison man’s stolen bicycle

JENISON, Mich. -- J.B. West is a local celebrity in the Jenison area, known around town for riding his bike and singing for all to hear. On Wednesday night, his bike was stolen.

In Jenison, everyone knows who the sidewalk singer is.

"People see me any yell, 'Hey there's the sidewalk singer!'," said J.B. "I've been a local celebrity for as far back as I can even remember."

J.B. has autism and his bike is his main source of transportation. On Wednesday, his bike was stolen from the McDonald's parking lot. When the community heard about the crime, they jumped into action.

"I was totally blown away when I got done eating," said J.B. "I was like, 'you've got to be kidding me.'"

Hearing the news, Keri Roth decided to do something.

"We said we were going to fix this so we can be on his wheels again," said Roth. "We started a GoFundMe page and it's just blown up.

The page has raised almost $3,500 in just 12 hours.

"I was floored," said Roth. "I didn't expect it to go this far."

"It means a lot," said Margo West, J.B.'s mother.

J.B.'s mother says the money is more than enough, so the rest will go into an account at Village Bike and Fitness for future repairs and parts.

"This was a very good eye-opener for me to realize truly what I do know already and that's that is he is very well-loved and thought of," said Margo.

"I'm surprised that people are still donating," said J.B. "I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone here in Jenison for your support and for your donations.

J.B. says he can't wait to get his new wheels.

"Anywhere I want to go, I'll go," said J.B. "Anywhere I can get, I'll get."

J.B. says he's going to be more careful in the future and make sure to lock his bike up wherever he goes.

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