Thieves targeted a Costa Mesa couple who is facing mounting medical bills after they stole 66-year-old Phil Cartier’s prized Schwinn Meridian adult tricycle in a burglary on Dec. 16.
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Cartier was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2016 and used the brand new bike to exercise.
"I was getting stronger every day," he said.
Phil and his wife Katie Cartier were forced to sell their Costa Mesa home of 20 years because of financial hardships and were in the process of moving when they were burglarized. The couple left a storage unit outside their home that had several items they intended to take with them to their new house, including the tricycle.
"I was just like, 'If cancer isn’t enough, now we have to deal with this,'" Katie said.
Although Phil had only been able to use his prized possession a few times, he said it brought him happiness and health.
"This isn’t just stuff and wasn’t just stuff that came easily to us," he said. "Someone taking it – it hurts."
Despite the heartbreak the two have endured, they remain resilient and are focused on moving forward.
"We can’t lose sight of the goal of moving," Phil said.
Costa Mesa police are investigating the burglary and ask anyone with information on the theft to contact the Costa Mesa Police Department at 714-754-5280.
If you would like to donate to a GoFundMe account set up for Phil Cariter, you may do so here. Note that GoFundMe deducts 2.9 percent of all funds raised, plus 30 cents per donation, in the form of payment processing charges.