The Los Angeles Police Department organized a fundraiser on Sunday for the family of a Tarzana teenager killed in an accident on Easter Sunday — raising nearly $3,200 through a car wash as well as a $2,000 donation from one family.
Sebastian Montero, 15, was riding a friend's bicycle on April 1 when a car fatally struck him in Woodland Hills.
Somebody had stolen Sebastian's bike at a mall in February, and after his death, his mother asked for the public's help finding it.
"It will be part of him, a little part of him to feel a little bit better that we have something left from him," Alma Montero told KTLA on Tuesday.
The bike, an Engine 11 Sprinter, remained missing on Sunday.
LAPD Officer Duke Dao, who has been working on finding the bike, organized the fundraiser at Fallbrook Car Wash on 22736 Victory Blvd. in Woodland Hills.
"I had to take lots of deep breath to control my emotion while talking to Sebastian’s mother," Dao wrote in a Facebook post announcing the event. "I grew up in Canoga Park riding my bicycle everywhere in the community."
Sebastian was a cadet at LAPD's West Valley Division and an ROTC student at Reseda High School. His friends, including members of both programs, volunteered at the car wash.
Besides helping the boy's family, LAPD wanted to raise awareness for road safety.
Alma Montero thanked the agency at the fundraiser. She also repeated her plea for the return of the bike that belonged to her son, who had dreams of riding professionally.
"He really loved that bike," she said.