High-end bikes stolen from charitable organization in Salt Lake City

Posted at 10:02 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-09 00:02:04-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah charity is the target of a recent burglary, and they said the theft could have an impact on their programs that benefit children and others who are in need.

The Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective takes in used bikes for repair before giving them away to folks in need, but recently dozens of high-end bikes were stolen.

David Davis, the collective’s executive director, said the theft happened at an untimely moment.

“In the wintertime we're almost like squirrels packing away for the winter,” he said. “We store up all these bikes, and then when springtime comes, all the kids are ready to ride, all the families are ready to ride, we can put them out again.”

But a dozen bikes are missing after someone broke into their nearby storage unit, which held a small collection of upper end bikes, which aren't given away, but are instead sold to cover operating costs.

“We sell the fancy ones to pay for the ones that we give away to refugees and kids,” Davis said. “So those $3,500 worth of bikes represents about 70 bikes we could have given away for free.”

The South Salt Lake Police Department says they have arrested one man in connection with the theft, but they haven't released his name yet because they say other suspects are still under investigation.

Daniel Castellano is a homeless man who earned a bike by putting in hours for the Bicycle Collective.

“TRAX is great, but it only gets you half way there,” Castellano said of his need to cycle.

He said the bike is critical to his goals.

“I don't wanna sit downtown and be just one of those bums that’s just sitting in the median sleeping all day, so I'm up here' and I’m learning,” he said of his time at the Bicycle Collective.

He said the bike helps him reach appointments with doctors or interviews for jobs, and he said he’s grateful for the access to transportation.

Davis said they are trying to stay focused on their positive goals despite the theft.

"It's frustrating, it's demoralizing, you stay up at night wishing you could show up and catch the person in the act," he said. "But, at the end of the day, you just have to stay positive."

For more information about the Bicycle Collective, visit their website.