Deaf 7-year-old gets the surprise of her life after her hearing devices are stolen

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Saturday, April 13, 2019
EXCLUSIVE: Deaf 7-year-old gets surprise after her hearing devices stolen
An East Bay community surprises a 7-year-old girl who was a victim of a burglary.

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. -- A deaf 7-year-old California girl found herself the victim of a burglary when the hearing devices that attach to her hearing aids were stolen. Because of the kindness of the community and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, little Alicia Lyding got the surprise of her life!

On April 7 a burglary was discovered at Independent School where Alicia is enrolled as a 1st grader. In addition to field trip money, the thieves stole Alicia's hearing devices called a Phonak.

The Phonak is essential for Alicia, who didn't speak until she was five-years-old, be able to hear her teacher clearly. When asked how the theft makes her feel?

"Super angry. Super mad."

When we approached the Alameda County Sheriff's Office for information regarding the crime at her school, a burglary at nearby Stanton Elementary and a break-in at Transfiguration Church several minutes away, Sgt. Ray Kelly immediate responded with an offer to help.

During ABC7's interview with Alicia at a park near her home, Sgt. Kelly and his fellow teammates surprised Alicia with bags of gifts and shows of support that they were working hard on her case to bring the suspect to justice.

"Most of us are parents and have kids the same age as Alicia. Today was an opportunity for us to communicate with her to let her know we support her. To show that even though she is special needs, even after something like this, that we support her and her family and her community is behind her," said Kelly.

As Ali clutches a Disney Frozen doll set and toy sheriff's office badges, her mother, Meghan is stunned and grateful for the outpouring of kindness.

"To meet them was a dream come true! When she gets older she wants to be a police officer girl!"

Along with the gifts and the opportunity to place police officer for a day, mom says she is most touched by the awareness the incident brings for those with disabilities.

"It was amazing. So amazing to have that community support. People really get it and they really care," said Meghan.

Meghan also revealed she's received offers from others to replace the $1,500 Phonak devices.

While the investigation is ongoing, Alicia's school is in the process of replacing her Phonak.