JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A trailer carrying bicycles for students at Duval Charter School at Southside was stolen this week.
The school realized the theft Friday, and now the staff is asking for the public’s help to find the missing bikes.
They said at least 17 bikes were inside. They are bikes awarded to the school by the Riding for a Focus grant. The charter school is one of two Florida schools to receive the grant.
School officials said the bikes each have the school’s logo on them. They are gray with either red, blue, green or yellow highlights.
The enclosed trailer was last seen on the school property last Sunday, school officials said.
They believe it was stolen around 1:20 p.m. that day.
A white Ford Explorer was captured on surveillance video pulling the trailer away.
“Losing those bikes mean losing connections,” Jared Davis said.
The bikes didn’t belong to Davis, but he’s taking it personally.
“I had students who could never afford a bike to begin with be able to come out and ride,” Davis said. “Their parents could trust them, just to come with me and get on a bike and get out and enjoy nature and enjoy the trails. And that opportunity is now lost.”
Davis is responsible for Duval Charter School at Southside getting the Riding for Focus grant, which awarded the school 20 bikes for teaching kids how to ride and work on their focus at school.
“The kids love the bikes. It’s such a special and unique program at our school,” Davis said.
Outside of school, Davis coaches a team, works part time at Bicycles Etc. and takes kids out riding on the weekends.
The trailer was donated by a parent and hadn’t moved from the school for some time.
“It’s always there, and so we realized yesterday that it was not there,” Davis said.
News4Jax is told school employees thought Davis took the trailer home to repair the bikes. But campus surveillance shows a SVU with a trailer attached around 1:20 p.m. Sunday.
“You took away an opportunity for kids to break out of their shells, to connect with other people, to get out and enjoy nature,” Davis said. “This is all super important, especially during this time.”
The trailer had a flat tire, which is why it was left on school property.
According to the school’s website, the Riding for a Focus Grant supplies these bikes to prepare students to be “Road Ready” as well as a way for students to achieve academic, health, and social success.
The statement reads in part:
We all want our kids to grow up happy, fulfilled, and equipped for success. Because of ADHD, however, many kids have a hard time concentrating in class. The Specialized Foundation is determined to turn that around by using cycling as a tool for students to achieve academic, health, and social success.
Davis says the bikes are special models and are worth $500 each.
If you have any information on the trailer’s location, call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500.