New York News
Bikes stolen from non-profit in Queens
CORONA PARK, Queens (WABC) -- Summer fun just got stolen in Queens.
A non-profit group dedicated to providing bikes and free lessons to kids and adults had all of its bikes stolen, dozens of them.
With no additional money to replace them a lot of families will have to turn elsewhere this summer.
When your mission is to encourage kids and adults to ride bikes and you don't have a ton of money, when someone steals dozens of bikes from you, it hurts.
"We can't afford to take the hit," said Ken Podziba, the President and CEO of Bike New York.
Podziba says someone stole 35 bikes worth $10,000 from a green container in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
They cleaned it out.
The theft has thrown the bike non-profit for a loop.
"We can't continue to operate if this happens," Podziba said.
What some believe is happening in parks across the city is rising crime.
From smaller thefts to more serious violent incidents
"The public should know if where they are going is safe or not," said Geoffrey Croft, of NYC Park Advocates.
NYC Park Advocates tracks crime statistics in city parks and then posts the information online.
What they've say they've seen over the last year is disturbing.
According to their research, crime was up nearly 25% in city parks last year.
But, what they say they find even more troubling is that they've had a hard time getting answers from police.
"It's part of the frustration of getting the police to report crime," Croft said.
What's frustrating for Bike New York is how this crime has affected their program.
When the thief stole the bikes, they also temporarily put the brakes on a summer program in the park for city kids.
"It means we had to cancel the program at Flushing Meadows Park."
For information on Bike New York please visit http://www.bikenewyork.org/ or call (212) 870-2080.
new york city, queens, theft, new york news, jeff pegues
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