Oakland nonprofit organization robbed of bikes, equipment outside elementary school

Bay Area

ALAMEDA (KRON) — At 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, the Oakland-based nonprofit Cycles of Change parked a 15-foot U-Haul box truck on Eighth Street outside Maya Lin Elementary School in Alameda.

When the group returned to it at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, it was gone.

“I didn’t believe it at first. I was very much in disbelief,” said Loke Davis, with Cycles of Change. 

Fifty bikes, 150 helmets and other equipment were inside the truck — all used by Cycles of Change to teach school kids bike safety.

Now lessons at Maya Lin Elementary and other schools registered with the non-profit’s “Drive Your Bike” program are on hold.

“We had locked all the doors and had put a club on the steering wheel. Had put a U-lock on the back part of the door,” Davis said. 

And yet, Alameda police say the thieves didn’t leave any evidence behind — no broken glass and investigators confirm the truck was not towed.

“We’re not sure at this point if it was random or it was targeted because of the bicycles,” said Alameda Police Lt. Hoshman Durani. 

Unfortunately, the truck is not equipped with GPS technology, so it’s location can’t be tracked.

“We are checking different flea markets, different locations in case the bicycles were, these people were trying to sell them,” Durani said. 

Davis questions the resale value of what was stolen. 

“I just don’t understand, like I don’t think this is a profitable venture for whoever took them,” Davis said. 

That’s because the bikes were all used and donated to the organization in the past.

Still, the City of Alameda has started a collection drive to help restock the diminished fleet.

You can drop donations off at the Oakland Bikery, the Oakland Public Library main branch or Maya Lin Elementary.

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