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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — A Blue Springs man is an Air Force veteran and brain cancer survivor. He depends on his bicycle to get around, but said the bike was stolen in the amount of time it took to buy a soda.

“In the amount of time it took me to watch them add extra cherries and fill my cup with ice, it was gone,” Randy Greenfield recalled.

A token for a free cherry limeade is why Greenfield stopped at a Sonic in Blue Springs on Tuesday. He parked his bike right outside the glass doors, but made the mistake of not locking it up.

“I just didn’t think that between two glass doors the bike could walk away that quickly,” he said.

Greenfield depends on a bicycle like this one to get around. He was serving overseas in the Air Force when he found out he had brain cancer. He’s in remission now, but his balance and short-term memory were affected.

“But when I’m on my bicycle I have no problem navigating it at all. I can handle it,” said Greenfield.

The $2,500 bike was made in Italy. It has 11 speeds and folds up. He uses it collect aluminum cans to earn extra cash. He also rides to Lake Jacomo Park to clean up the parking lot.

“They let me keep all the aluminum I want for free,” he said with a laugh. “Plus if you get 38 hours of donated time, you get a free fishing license and I love to go fishing.”

But he can’t do any of that since his only mode of transportation has been stolen. Greenfield walked the 1.5 miles home because he was too embarrassed to tell his mom and ask for a ride.

He said he hopes his independence will soon be returned. For now, he’s borrowing his brother’s bike.