Manitoba cycling team had all their bikes stolen in Penticton | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Manitoba cycling team had all their bikes stolen in Penticton

A photo of the Manitoba cycling team's trailer that was stolen in Penticton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

An entire team of young cyclists from Manitoba arrived in Penticton for spring training when they learned that all of their bikes had been stolen from a local hotel.

Twila Cruickshank, executive director for the Manitoba Cycling Association, said 13 cyclists between the age of 14 and 20, are dealing with tough emotions this week.

“You take it very personally when it happens,” she said. “They spent a lot of time on those bikes.”

The athletes flew across three provinces while the coach drove the bicycles in a team trailer. While parked at the Sandman Hotel in Penticton during the early hours of March 24, she said surveillance cameras recorded somebody allegedly cutting off a hitch lock, attaching the trailer to their U-Haul truck, and then driving off.

Const. Dayne Lyons with the Penticton RCMP said the theft has been reported and is currently under investigation.

READ MORE: Bicycles are becoming a form of currency as thefts continue to rise: RCMP

The trailer looks unique because of team logos and the names of sponsors that decorate it on every side.

Cruickshank said an estimated value of the road bikes and trailer has not yet been tallied up.

Four of the bicycles were recovered on Garnet Valley Road in Summerland, and they were models on the higher end, she said.

The trailer was equipped with a tracker but the last signal detected from it was somewhere in the Peachland area.

Cruickshank wonders about the level of sophistication of the thief – whether they were connected to organized crime or just a desperate opportunist.

The team would often travel from Manitoba to the Penticton for training because roads in the Okanagan are much more rideable this early in the spring.

“Penticton’s a great place to get on the road and train when we can’t here,” Cruickshank said, adding that many roads in Manitoba are still snowy and icy.

Due to COVID the team hasn’t been able to come to travel to the Okanagan in over two years.

“Everybody was very excited about coming to Penticton,” she said.

READ MORE: Penticton woman fed-up with crime gets mom’s bike back from thief

The team will be competing in the 2022 Canada Summer Games in Niagra Falls, Ontario, beginning in August.

“They were trying to get a head start on their training, to be competitive against athletes across the country," Cruickshank said.

They haven’t yet decided if they will return to the Penticton again for training.

The team of cyclists is still training in the area despite the thefts. Between the four bicycles that were recovered, and other bikes that were loaned by local cyclists and shops, the team has found a way to keep riding.

Anybody who sees the trailer is asked to contact the Penticton RCMP.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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