Thieves target Hanford BMX park, again
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the third time this year, thieves have stolen from kids by targeting a South Valley community bike park.
Phillip Alonzo, 31, has spent the past three years turning landscape into rolling hills and cement tracks for riders at Hanford BMX, located near Brown and First streets. As track operator, Alonzo says he does it for "the kids that don't have a bike and don't ride much."
He says a lot of the riders can't afford to buy their own equipment and most everything they use is donated.
This time around the thieves took 9 of the bicycles that were given to the park from the Kings County Sheriff's Department. Alonzo says they took, "announcing equipment, the terra box that makes the gate go up and down and that's like 900 bucks just for that little piece of equipment."
Team dad Jacob Avila says his 5-year-old son Ryan can't enough of the sport. He and other parents work concessions and volunteer their time to keep the park alive.
This is the third time things they've worked so hard for have simply disappeared. Avila says, "We're not taking away from Phillip, we're taking away from the kids and if it keeps up the track will no longer be here and the kids won't have nowhere to go."
Hanford Police say the area is not well lit at night and they believe the thieves knew what they were after. Lt. George Hernandez says, "My guess is someone knew what was in there and that was part of the target."
Deputies tell Action News those 9 donated bikes were stamped, saying they're from the Kings County Sheriff's Department. Which means the thieves may not be able to get very far if they try to sell them.
In the meantime, track operator Phillip Alonzo says he's working on security and he won't let a few thieves keep his wheels from spinning. "As long as they have a track to ride in that stays open, we're okay."
Hanford Police say so far one bicycle has been recovered. Investigators hope people will come forward with information about the crime.
hanford, kings county, theft, local, stephanie stone
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