Miracle on ice, young figure skater reunited with her expensive ice skates


Seven days a week. That is 12-year-old Amber Braley's practice schedule.

She is getting ready for a world championship figure skating competition this July in Anaheim, but that was all put on hold after her $1,500 skates were stolen.

Without her custom fit skates, Amber said she would be watching, not competing in Anaheim. 

"My skates are pretty much my life," Braley said. "I'm here 24-7 on the ice. Training to try and get my dreams accomplished. I just really want to make it to the Olympics."

With her sights set very high, Braley has been collecting trophies and medals along the way from several different competitions. She now travels from Tehachapi to practice at the San Joaquin Ice Center in Bakersfield.

Her skates were in the back seat of mom's car. 

"When I went to open the car door all this glass just hit the ground," Monique, Amber's mom, said. "Then I realized that we had been vandalized."

The car was parked outside her mom's office. They say that a group broke in to the car Wednesday night.

"First thing my daughter looked for were her skates," Monique said.

The suspected thieves passed over expensive medical equipment, prescription drugs and "they left the iPad," Amber said. "Perfectly fine. But we were just surprised that they would take skates."

With broken glass and security footage of the parking lot the alleged theft took place in, they contacted the Bakersfield Police Department. Monique said she was told that there wasn't an officer available at that time.

She understood that there might be medical emergencies or other situations that officers were attending to, so she didn't have a problem waiting, Monique said.

She added that after more than 24-hours she still hadn't heard back from the police department. The family eventually received some good news.

"Yesterday evening, a lady had found her skates," Monique said. "It was basically the bag, the skates and everything that was in the bag. All over an empty parking lot field off of 34th Street by Memorial Hospital."

That woman collected everything and somehow thought to bring it to the ice rink where Amber just happens to practice. Amber wasn't there, but one of her friends was.

"When she saw the lady walk-in, one of my friends said that she had seen my bag and she knew it was mine because it had my little Minnie Mouse on the side," Amber said.

The woman left the skates, but no name or phone number. Amber has her skates back and she also has a message for the woman that found them.

"I would just thank her," Amber said. "I would be really grateful to at least know that there are some people in the world who would be that kind."

Monique wants to thank the mystery woman as well.

"Whoever it is that turned in my daughter's skates, I can't thank you enough," Monique said. "Whoever you are, it doesn't matter. I just really appreciate it because it means the world to her."  

Monique said that she still hasn't heard back from the police department. She is waiting to file an official police report, before she can file a claim with her insurance company and get her car window repaired. 

Print this article Back to Top