Students at St. Catherine Community School are disappointed after bikes they were trying to win as part of a reward program were stolen, when someone allegedly broke into the school’s storage container.
When principal Paul Tourigny got to work last Thursday morning, he noticed that something wasn’t right. The lock to the storage container, he says, was smashed and five bikes were missing.
On top of that, he also seemed to interrupt the thief in the act.
“I went in, there were six bikes. I went to call the police and when I got back there were four bikes,” Tourigny said. “We actually saw a couple of the individuals taking off with the bikes.”
In total, seven brand-new bikes were stolen that were donated through Bikes for Kids, a program by United Way and Powerhouse Mortgages DLC. Each year, Bikes for Kids chooses one recipient school for the donated bikes.
This year, the program donated 20 bikes and one scooter, along with helmets and bike locks. Students earn ballots for good attitude, attendance and school work, vying for a chance to take one home at the end of the year.
“I thought it was disappointing — not disappointing but hurtful, because there’s many deserving kids here at St. Catherine,” said grade 8 student Kennedy Alderson.
“I was really disappointed because I had been trying to win a bike for my little brother,” said Brayden Gaetz, another grade 8 student, “and I wasn’t very happy about it because I knew a lot of my friends wanted to win a bike because they didn’t have one or couldn’t afford any.”
After posting on social media, the school received an overwhelming response from the community. Local businesses and Good Samaritans stepped up to donate money and help replace the bikes.
“I’m very confident we will be able to continue on with this campaign and there will be many happy faces at the end,” said vice-principal Branelle Zenuk. “It’s one of those stories where in times of darkness there can be even more light that comes out of it.”
In a release, Regina police say the suspect, who was seen pushing a bicycle down the street, is described as an adult male in his 30s with a heavier build, weighing about 200 pounds, and wearing a grey sweater and tan pans.
The incident is currently under investigation.
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