NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Disabled Vietnam War veteran Tim Ulveling spent a year building his motorized bike in his North Hollywood living room.

But Ulveling had to put the bike up for sale on Craigslist recently after he became strapped for cash. Among Ulveling’s challenges, he has a heart condition and has suffered a stroke.

His $850 a month of disability benefits weren’t cutting it, he said, and he needed money just to pay bills and buy groceries.

“I had to sacrifice the bike,” he said. “I need to keep my head at least above water.”

Two men answered his ad, and one of them took the bike out on a test ride while the other waited in a truck nearby with the engine running.

Right away, the transaction felt wrong.

“My stomach just sank,” Ulveling said. “I knew what was up. They did exactly what I thought they were going to do. They threw it in the back of that truck and that was the last I saw of it.”

Beyond the financial loss, Ulveling said losing the bike was especially hard since building it was a labor of love.

“I took pride in that thing and I worked on it so hard, for so long,” he said.

Ulveling said he has the name of one of the robbery suspects. But he’s not going to the police, yet.

“I’d rather just give him a chance to return the bike,” he said. “I don’t need to see him. Actually, I don’t care who brings it back.”

 

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