Shed Burglary Puts Brakes on Popular Modesto Bike Program

MODESTO -- Around two dozen bikes were stolen sometime Tuesday night when a shed was broken into at Orville Wright Elementary School in Modesto.

The bikes were part of the Aiport Bicycle Club, which teaches kids the basics of bicycling and bike safety, in partnership with the Tuolumne River Trust.

"It's morphed into monthly bicycle rides in the parks and trying to do a lot of active transportation in the neighborhood," River Trust spokesman Edgar Garibay said.

Thieves made off with $9,000 worth of bikes, tools and other equipment.

"Those bikes serve as a great tool for parent outreach to engage our parents in with our students' education," said Modesto City Schools spokeswoman Becky Fortuna.

However, the thieves just didn't take from the school, Fortuna says, they stole from the students.

"About 200 students will be affected by this theft. We're heartbroken," she said.

But as word spread about the thefts, the community responded.

The Tracy Police Department donated nine bikes and Garibay said the Tuolumne River Trust says they are working with other partners in the community to restore the rest of the fleet.

"It's very unfortunate and the community obviously feels very saddened but, you know, you want to come together strong and pull forward to continue to be able to provide these activities for our community," Garibay said.

The next ride is tentatively scheduled for late January or early February.

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