It’s been a tough week for Bikeworks. The story was a few days late in breaking, but last Friday, the beloved Columbia City nonprofit was robbed with the thieves stealing over 20 bikes that were designated for underprivileged families. Komo’s Lindsey Cohen has the story.
The staff at Bike Works, located at 3709 South Ferdinand Street, arrived at the shop Saturday morning to find someone had cut through large metal bars on the barbed wire fence. The thieves then sliced through cable locks and stole BMX bikes that had been donated by the community, fixed up by kids, and were meant for underpriveleged families in the community.
“It’s just wrong. We’ve spent so much time working on those bikes and someone just comes and cuts the fence and just steals them,” said Marcus Cline-Hill, a 13-year old who worked on some of the stolen bikes. “That’s messed up.”
“We’re a non-profit and with all of the good will we’re trying to spread in the community — this was really disheartening,” added Tina Bechler, Bike Works director. “It was pretty demoralizing, particularly when the youth started hearing about it, and knowing that all that hard work had gone to somebody taking the bikes.”
Adults who work at the Columbia City organization reported the theft to police and fixed the fence Saturday.
Staffers returned Sunday morning to find the thieves had broken in overnight — again.
“The repeat was a shocker for us. We definitely tried to seal everything back down,” added Bechler. “To be so brazen to return to the scene of the crime — we weren’t expecting that.”
“It’s really surprising that anybody would take away from this community something that’s trying to make the community better,” added Julian Hietter, a 12-year old who has participated in Bike Works for three years. “We’re not selling these bikes to make a ton of money. We’re just trying to give back.”
Workers have upgraded security at the South Seattle location, including installing motion-detected security lights. The nonprofit is also trying to figure out how it is going to replace the nearly 20 stolen BMX bicycles.
“Maybe we just need to put bigger signs in the yard that are like, ‘we give these bikes away,'” added Bechler. “Please don’t steal from us.”
To watch the Komo news clip, click here.