What usually houses almost four dozen bikes for Lifting Up Camden's Youth now sits as an empty shed behind the nonprofit that provides programming for about 200 children during the pandemic.
"To have gotten this gift of a real shed that was so safe, that we were using for seven months, and just overnight for everything to be gone was just devastating," said Kristin Prinn with Lifting Up Camden's Youth (LUCY).
Sunday’s ride was the last time nonprofit- Lifting Up Camden’s Youth- used their donated bikes. Nearly two dozen of them were stolen from the nonprofit’s locked shed; some of them $800. @6abc pic.twitter.com/TbNS7KrvPs— Christie Ileto (@Christie_Ileto) October 21, 2020
Almost two dozen of the donated bikes were stolen Monday morning. Police believe a group broke into the shed and made off with them one by one. Each bike costs anywhere between $200 to $800.
"It's just really sad what happened," said 16-year-old Leslie Medina with the program.
Medina rode during Sunday's trip to Merchantville never thinking it could be her last.
"For someone to have the audacity to come to the shed, to LUCY, and take all the bikes...why?" said Medina.
“I know it’s tonight times w/ the pandemic, but you didn’t have to take it this far.”- 16 year old Leslie reacting to thieves who made off with youth program’s track bikes. LUCY serves about 200 kids in Camden during the pandemic. Full story ➡️ https://t.co/FtL1XUei7h @6abc https://t.co/9STAer6FjG pic.twitter.com/tbgbzCS8ow— Christie Ileto (@Christie_Ileto) October 21, 2020
"Since COVID-19 happened, that's the only thing we can do is ride bikes," said Yamiliana Rodriguez. "It's just messed up."
While the nonprofit has cameras, it appears they were tampered with to avoid capturing the brazen bandits. The group is now looking for donations to replace the bikes.
"Why would you do this? Why? I know it's tough times with the pandemic, but you didn't have to take it this far," Medina said.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Camden City Police Department.