The Boise Bicycle Project, which aims to bring bicycles to people in need, is seeking help from the community after noticing an increase in theft.
Over the past two years, the organization has probably lost about 100 bicycles to theft from its site. But in the past couple of weeks, the thefts have been particularly problematic and BBP’s fences and the fences of nearby businesses got tagged with graffiti, said Jimmy Hallyburton, executive director and founder of BBP.
“It’s definitely an ongoing problem but we can tell that in the last couple weeks this has been getting a lot worse,” he said.
Because BBP bikes are intended for donation, either locally or to Africa, he finds the thefts particularly frustrating. The very people stealing bikes may be people BBP would donate bikes to anyway. Also, when bicycles are stolen, they may not be street-ready and could be hazardous to ride, Hallyburton said.
“When they’re selling those bikes or riding those bikes, they may be getting into more trouble than they realize,” he said.
After noticing the trend of theft, the nonprofit’s leaders wrote about the issue in a Facebook post asking for volunteers and assistance. The nonprofit saw a response within days. BBP is now working with a local fencing company to see if they can help, Hallyburton said.
BBP is approaching the issue from a couple of angles: increase security and also boost education. The organization is looking for volunteers to put up informational signs indicating the bikes are intended for donation, Hallyburton said.
“How can we not be reactive, but more proactive about how we’re doing this?” he said.