A thief was caught on camera as he broke into a nonprofit bike shop on Denver's Westside and stole the cash register.
It happened early Sunday morning at Lucky Bikes Recyle-ry on West Jewell Avenue, near Federal Boulevard.
"He tried to yank the door open and nothing happened," said bike shop manager Tom Hall. “So he broke out the glass, ran in, grabbed the register and took off.”
Surveillance video shows what appears to be a young man smashing the glass out of the front door, stepping inside the shop, running straight to the cash register, (which was on a lower shelf behind the front desk) ripping it out and absconding with it.
Hall said there was a small amount of cash in the register.
Lucky Bikes is owned by Trips for Kids – Denver Metro, a nonprofit serving at risk and disadvantaged youth.
Executive Director Wendy Stewart told Denver7 that the shop receives donated bikes, which volunteers rebuild, and then sell.
“The money raised is used to fund the “Earn a Bike” and “Trips” programs.
The “Earn a Bike” program allows kids, ages 12 – 18, to work at the shop, learning how to repair bicycles and how to sell them. They then “earn” the bicycle of their choice.
The “Trips” program is an organized effort to get kids on bicycles up in the mountains, allowing them to see parts of Colorado they might not otherwise be able to visit.”
Stewart said the theft has pushed those programs back a month.
“Basically, it just sucks,” said Chris Rodriguez, a 15-year old who is participating in the “Earn a Bike” program. “If (the thief) knew we were a nonprofit, I feel he wouldn’t have done it.”
It’s not the first time that a thief has targeted Lucky Bikes.
One year ago this month, a thief broke into the shop and stole a one of a kind bamboo bike that cost $3,000. It was never recovered.
Stewart said on another occasion, a thief siphoned gas out of their transport van and another one stole the starter out of their truck.
“It’s just a terrible shame,” said Kiara M., an intern at the shop. “This is a nonprofit and the guy who stole from here, had a big impact on the whole shop and everybody here.”
“It breaks my heart to see someone from the community do that to an organization that’s trying to help them,” said program manager Tania Satchwell.
When asked if he thinks the thief may have been in the store before, Hall replied, “I would say the way he deliberately came in and grabbed the register and ran out, he knew where it was, so I’m pretty sure he had cased it out… but he was not a regular customer.”
Stewart is asking anyone who may recognize the man on the surveillance video to contact police.
Lucky Bikes is hosting its 3rd annual friend-raiser on April 23.
There will be live music, food and beer. 10% off bikes and 50% used parts.
The fund raiser will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 pm at the bike shop at 3150 W. Jewell Avenue in Denver.