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LOST AND FOUND: Oak Bay Police give new life to old bikes

Oak Bay High student council members Maria Talalaeva, left, and Justin Lee, right, on bikes that will be given to students who may not be able to afford one. The two are joined by Oak Bay Police Const. Julie Chanin, left, student council member Claire Wood and Oak Bay Bikes owner Karl Ullrich.   - Sharon Tiffin/News staff
Oak Bay High student council members Maria Talalaeva, left, and Justin Lee, right, on bikes that will be given to students who may not be able to afford one. The two are joined by Oak Bay Police Const. Julie Chanin, left, student council member Claire Wood and Oak Bay Bikes owner Karl Ullrich.
— image credit: Sharon Tiffin/News staff

What was once lost has now been found.

Bikes that were found property turned in to the Oak Bay Police and unclaimed for more than a year have a new lease on life.

“Bikes get turned in for different reasons, some are found abandoned, some are stolen,” Oak Bay Police Sgt. Ian Craib said. “They all get processed and we hold on to them for a year to a year-and-a-half, depending on the value of the bike.”

Police hang onto the bikes hoping to reunite them with their owners.

“Some of the bikes are in rough shape and have been outside for a long time,” Craib said. Many of those are sent to the Compassionate Resource Warehouse, which has them fixed up and ships them overseas to countries such as Africa, where two wheels are commonly used for transportation.

Craib and his coworker Const. Julie Chanin decided that if they could find a couple of bikes out of the 40 or so that sit in Oak Bay Police storage that would be suitable for donation locally, they would find a way to make that happen.

“We felt it would be nice to send a couple of bikes to people in need here,” Craib said. “We thought if we can identify people who cannot afford to buy a bike, it would be a great way to help out in our community. Oak Bay Bikes stepped up to help out and fixed them up for us.”

The staff of Oak Bay Bikes donated the time, energy, money and expertise to make the bikes as good as new and they were donated to the Oak Bay High student council last week.

Student council members will in turn donate the bikes to a pair of deserving teens.

Chanin said she hopes to continue recycling bikes this way, providing students in need with a fun, healthy, green and economical mode of transportation.

“There are people in all sorts of economic situations here. Not everybody here can afford bikes. In my experience there are people here that need help,” Craib added.

 

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