TULSA, Okla. — Eugene Field Elementary School Teacher Rico Harris unlocked the bicycle shed for his 5th grade class Thursday morning. The only thing he found inside were empty bike racks.
"To have someone come and steal bikes from students who are the future of West Tulsa... It's very disappointing," Harris said.
Surveillance video shows at least one thief take off with several bikes from the shed, over night Thursday. Lance Miller, the school's Bike Club Tulsa program manager, said 13 of the 21 bikes are missing.
"There are bikes here specifically for kids to ride," Miller said.
Bike Club partners with 22 Tulsa Public Schools for an after-school program to teach about 400 student peddlers to master the two-wheeler.
“Just the very basics all the way up to students doing hour-long adventure rides or destination rides toward the end of the year," Miller said.
Thanks to the pandemic, eleven Eugene Field program participants just got back on the saddle for the first time in a year.
"The kids are disappointed," Harris said.
Ten of the students are in Harris's math and science classes. He said the bikers are a resilient bunch, and in a school year cursed by coronavirus, he is sure his students will persevere, once again.
“I know that these kids will come together and support each other as they do every day in Bike Club," he said.
Bike Tulsa asks anyone who recognizes the stolen bikes pictured in its Facebook post to call the Tulsa Police non-emergency line at 918-749-9966.
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