Preteen relies on street sign to stay safe; it's stolen then ret - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Preteen relies on street sign to stay safe; it's stolen then returned

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EUREKA, Ill. (HOI) -- -

A sign designed to keep a Eureka child safe has apparently been stolen and now his mother wants it back.

11-year-old Ryan Fuller is a regular pre-teen. 

He loves sports, he loves to be active, and loves to play outside.

But he started gradually losing his hearing when he was just 3-years-old. 

And now he's scared for when his world will go silent.

Ryan Fuller isn't completely deaf yet but even with his hearing aids it can make fun outside play into stressful situations.

When cars are cruising down the road, he can't tell which direction the traffic is coming from and sometimes he can't hear cars coming at all. 

"If my dad is mowing, it sounds like he's mowing down the street," Ryan said.

It's his hearing that motivated a neighbor to help the family get signs installed in both directions of the road warning people to slow down.

"We're just a community and we want to take care of each other," said Gina Dunbar.

Now after two-years of protection, Ryan is vulnerable. 

The family noticed the sign went missing a few days ago and are pleading for the thieves to return it.

"My heart just broke when I noticed it was gone," said Ryan's mom Stephanie Fuller.

His mom took to Facebook to try to persuade its kidnappers to return it anonymously. 

It now has over 800 shares. 

"It's for him it's for his safety and you know I just want it to be a lesson for those who took it or kids in the future who might think about  taking one, it's really vital to keep him safe and it means a lot to me as a mom to feel like I've done everything that I can possible do to help him and his hearing," said Fuller.

Ryan said until he gets his sign back he's going to have to reply on family and friends to keep himself safe outside.

"If I'm playing catch with my friends like baseball, like he throws it, and I don't catch it and it's by the road he goes it's over there, there's a car coming or something," said Ryan.

Ryan's mother said The Eureka City Council has agreed to get the family a new sign if the old one is not returned and other sign companies have reached out as well. 

But to her it's the principle of the return.

As of Wednesday night, it was returned by the sign nappers. 

It was laid in the family's front yard. 

The mother said she is proud of them for returning the sign, and she would like to thank them for doing the right thing.

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