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Pulaski deputy expresses concern for safety of person who took his bike

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PULASKI COUNTY (WSLS 10) - A Pulaski County Sheriff's deputy has a message for the community after his bike was taken from his home earlier this month by a stranded 19-year-old. The deputy took to his Facebook page to express his concerns for her safety.

The note left for Pulaski County Sheriff Deputy Josh Bowden raises more questions than answering why his bike was taken from his front yard. He's used to working theft cases, but recently fell victim the night of Super Bowl Sunday.

"A young lady found my bicycle and she was out here alone in the dark and decided she needed it for a ride home. So she took my bike," said Bowden.

Bowden said he didn't know it was missing until it was returned to his grandmother's house next door with this note, apologizing for taking it without permission. The 19-year-old wrote it was 2 a.m. She had no cell phone, money or a ride because of "drunk boys."

Bowden said he was concerned for her safety because things could have taken a tragic turn as she rode his bike from Radford to Blacksburg in the middle of the night. A tragic turn he's seen first hand as a deputy who once searched for the body of another young woman, Hannah Graham, a University of Virginia student killed in 2014.

"Somebody they can coax or force in their car. That scares me and that's what I think of most. She could have been hit by a car. I don't know what condition she was in. I would have much preferred her to come knock on my door," said Bowden.

Bowden responded to her note on Facebook in a post that now has more than 1,000 likes and 2,000 shares and plenty of comments from all over Virginia and beyond praising the deputy for his kindness.

"It's a lot of courage to come back and bring the bicycle back with a letter knowing that she borrowed it off of a law-enforcement officer," said Bowden.

Bowden is hoping this can help the girl and others like her to make better choices when it comes to safety.

Bowden ended the letter with the hastag #helpsavethenextgirl, a national non-profit organization formed in honor of Morgan Dana Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student who was abducted and murdered in 2009.