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20 bikes stolen from locked trailer behind locked gate at Pierce County school

SPANAWAY, Wash. — A trailer with 20 bikes inside was stolen from the parking lot of Bethel Middle School last weekend.

According to the school district, a trailer containing the bikes had a sturdy hitch lock attached which should have prevented it from being driven away. The trailer was also parked behind a locked gate. Surveillance video shows a thief using a sledgehammer to break the hitch lock so he could hook the trailer to his dark colored SUV similar to a Toyota 4Runner.    “He’s stealing from our students and he’s stealing from our community,” said Program Coordinator Scott Birdseye.

Thief uses 4Runner type SUV to haul away trailer filled with bikes for kids

Twenty bicycles and the trailer they were housed in were stolen from Bethel Middle SchoolThe stolen trailer is a 2016 Mirage Xcel with license plate: A8106C.

The bikes cost $450 each. They were all 2016 Specialized Roll entry models with red frames and were used to teach kids at five schools how to ride safely.  They have wide tires with a pressure gauge in them and were purchased from Old Town Bicycle in Gig Harbor, a district official said.  The bikes have reflective stickers with the shop’s name near the bottom of the frames.

Suspect in dark colored 4Runner type SUV scopes out scene

Lindsey Schaub who teaches PE at Bethel Middle School says some kids were in tears when they were told about the theft.   "Why and how could you steal from little children? These are their bikes and trying to explain that some bad person came and stole them Saturday night, that was hard to do.   A lot of my students, this is their only opportunity to learn how to ride. It's like stealing an education. You just don't do that," said Schaub.

If you have any information that can help Pierce County detectives identify the suspect, or recover the stolen bikes and trailer, use the P3 Tips App to submit your tip to Crime Stoppers, or call the hot line at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).