Officers band together to send bike back to boy

A young Alberta boy who had his bicycle stolen during an Island visit will have it waiting for him when he gets home, thanks to the generosity of Victoria police officers.

The bike, which was locked on a rack attached to the Calgary family’s vehicle, went missing last week, said acting Victoria police spokesman Bowen Osoko. The vehicle was parked on Douglas Street near Broughton Street.

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Police were called, but the family was scheduled to be on its way, Osoko said. He said the family was determined to continue with their vacation.

Officers began to check into the circumstances of the crime, and kept in touch with the parents, Osoko said.

“They went back and forth by email, and the parents sent a picture of the bike with the child on it,” he said. “We put the picture on social media, the officers start looking.”

The break came when a resident of the tent city outside the Victoria courthouse contacted police to say he had found a bike.

“At that point, the family had already taken the ferry,” Osoko said. “By the time we got a hold of them, they were almost halfway back to Alberta.”

People generally have to come to the police station to recover stolen goods, but this was a different situation, he said. Officers decided on a solution: The police department would pay to have it shipped.

“They said: ‘It’s a kid’s bike, we’ll put it in a box and we’ll send it,’ ” Osoko said. “So the kid’s going on vacation, has his bike stolen, gets back home and there’s his bike.”

Victoria police Insp. Scott McGregor, whose Community Services Division was involved, said it is “a heartwarming thing” for officers to know the bike will be there when the boy returns from his trip.

Osoko said the family was informed by email that the delivery will be made.

He said one officer in particular made it his mission to find the bike. “He doesn’t want going on vacation and having your bike stolen to be your memory of the city.”

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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