Around 50 black youths poured into Druid Hill Park in Baltimore and stole four dozen bicycles from the park’s bike-sharing station.
FOX 5 reported:
The Baltimore Sun reported:
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About 50 youngsters poured into Druid Hill Park and stole four dozen bicycles Monday evening that city workers had put out for a popular bike-sharing program, authorities said.
City officials said Friday that the Ride Around the Reservoir program is suspended indefinitely while they hope for the return of the bikes, which the Recreation and Parks Department will accept with no questions asked.
Chris Merriam, director of Bikemore, a group that works to promote bicycling in Baltimore, said the thefts were “incredibly shocking” and a big setback for the program.
“It’s a kids-out-of-control issue,” Merriam said. “It’s a really brazen crime and really messed up on so many levels.”
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was outraged by the incident, and pledged to find a way to continue the Ride Around program and other recreational opportunities. The theft of the bikes shows a critical need for programs to engage young people before they become involved in criminal activity, she said.
The bikes were stolen by a mob of threatening youths who were kicked out of the local pool.
The Baltimore Brew reported:
Anne Draddy, who started the “Ride Around” program in 2006, today gave this account of the incident to The Brew: “There was some kind of ruckus in the pool. They had an overload, a lot of teens they let in without parents. They had older teens and younger children all mixed in together,” said Draddy, who now is an environmental analyst for the Department of General Services.
“The police were called to the pool and they just closed it down. There was apparently something like 100 of them,” she said. “Big teens in some cases, and they were told they couldn’t use the pool. They were angry and throwing stuff.”
Some of the youths crossed Swan Drive and stormed the area where the bikes are kept next to the path around the Druid Lake reservoir. “There was big tension. People [the staff] just stepped back. They took the bikes and rode away,” Draddy said.