Arnold bicycle reunion doesn't work as hoped
Arnold officials were only able to reunite two children with their lost bicycles on Wednesday.
Councilman Anthony “Butch” Sgalio scheduled a six-hour open house of sorts at the city hall basement in an attempt to find the owners of more than 50 bicycles that police have recovered since 2009.
However, fewer than a dozen people had stopped as of 6 p.m. Wednesday with only an hour left to go in the advertised time period to claim a bike.
“It's disappointing,” said Sgalio. “We want to give them back.”
One bay in the basement was filled with bicycles of all sizes, shapes and conditions, each tagged with the location and date it was collected by police.
Some bikes appeared brand new with shiny stickers and bright paint; others were covered in dull spray paint and duct tape. There was a mix of children's and adult sizes.
There was even one motorized bike.
Hans Unruh, 10, of New Kensington was one of the lucky people reunited with his bicycle.
His grandmother, Sharon Bolkovac of Riverside Drive, said two bicycles belonging to Hans and his brother were stolen from her yard over a year ago. One bike was returned the same day, but Hans' was never recovered.
“He's very excited,” Bolkovac said. “I had picked him up one from the Goodwill store, but it wasn't the same.”
Tiffany Clark of Kenneth Avenue said her son, Ashton Crawford, also was pleased to recover his bicycle.
“He was happy — he didn't even care that it was spray-painted,” Clark said.
Walter “Butch” Kelly, a city employee who helped man the impromptu bike shop, initially thought they didn't have Ashton's bike when he stopped by about 2 p.m. to describe it.
It wasn't recognized at first because it had been painted, likely in an attempt to prevent anyone from recognizing it as stolen.
Clark said the bike was only about a month old when it was stolen from her backyard last summer. She bought Ashton a mountain bike to replace it, but he preferred a regular bicycle.
“I'm stuck riding my sister's bike,” Ashton told Kelly as he waited with the hot pink bike. “It's better than no bike.”
Sgalio said the bicycles not claimed will be donated to charity, as the basement space needs to be cleared to make room for recycling equipment.
Sgalio has a family connection to Camp Lutherlyn in Prospect, Butler County, where he believes some of the bikes can be used on camp trails.
He's reluctant to donate the bikes to anyone in Arnold because he doesn't want to risk causing a confrontation if the new owner encounters a previous owner and is accused of stealing.
Anyone trying to claim a bicycle on Wednesday was asked to describe their bike and when it went missing to confirm they were the owner.
Arlene Mercurio of New Kensington was one of the people who walked away empty-handed.
She was trying to find two adult Schwinn bicycles that were stolen from her Esther Avenue garage last year. She said the garage was broken into twice within a year; once New Kensington police recovered the bikes, but they weren't found after the second burglary.
Sgalio suggested she and others who didn't find their bikes in Arnold to check with New Kensington and Lower Burrell police to see if they were found in another city.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rainy summer delays paving projects in New Kensington
- Armstrong inmate escapee charged with murdering family matriarch
- Winfield Community Park restroom project stalls over high contractor bids
- Captured Armstrong jail escapee Crissman’s criminal history
- Judge lets New Kensington Ten Commandments monument stand
- New Kensington-Arnold committee discusses ways to combat bullying
- Parks Township breeder hosts 3rd annual Lab Fest
- Winfield supervisors OK natural gas-drilling regulations
- U.S. Open parking fee to go to Oakmont recreation board
- HBO to end ‘Banshee’ series, disappointing Vandergrift
- Sun shines on Oakmont regatta