ROCKWALL, Texas - At 13 years old, a Rockwall girl was set to go to a national competition for motocross next week. But a crime at her family's home may have dashed those plans.
Hope Howerton had her custom dirt bike stolen from the garage. Bikes like hers are designed specifically to the person riding it, and it could mean she's out of the competition.
Hope has been riding dirt bikes since she was 5 years old. She's so good, the 13-year-old qualified for nationals. But with her dirt bike stolen, her dreams to compete next month may be dashed.
Her pink and blue Yamaha, valued at close to $7,000, was stolen along with her brother's dirt bike from the garage of her family's Rockwall home Wednesday afternoon.
“I got upset,” said Hope’s mom, Kelly. “I just thought how could someone not just take their bikes, but take her dream from her.”
That dream is competing in the AMA Amateur Motocross Championship being held in Tennessee next month. It’s a big deal for the 13-year-old competing in a male-dominated sport.
“It’s definitely difficult,” Hope said. “It’s like having a target on your back cause none of the guys want to be beat by a girl. But I like it, so…”
Hope says the garage door was partially open when someone lifted it up and helped themselves to the bikes. She learned about the theft when her brother walked into the garage to get something out of his car.
“I was just devastated because my dad has put in so much for it,” she said. “He’s gone through so many sleepless nights working on it.”
With nationals less than two weeks away, those sleepless nights now revolve around trying to find Hope a temporary replacement.
“It’s a once a year thing and only so many people make it,” Hope explained. “And it’s a really big dream of mine.”
The Howertons say they are going to Oklahoma to check out a possible loaner bike.
Rockwall police don’t have any leads. If you see a blue and pink Yamaha dirt bike with the number 24 and Howerton written on it, call police.