For 10-year-old, bike theft has happy ending

Alexandra Funari, 10. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN
Alexandra Funari, 10. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN

I’m not really sure how someone who steals a child’s bike can sleep at night. But that’s exactly what happened to Alexandra Funari, a 10-year-old student at View Ridge Elementary School. Last Thursday, her mother, Bonnie Flacco, came home to find someone had ripped off Alexandra’s bicycle from right beside their home off East 31st Street.

“It made me cry,” Alexandra said. “I really liked my bike.”

Flacco said that several kids’ bikes have gone missing in the neighborhood recently, something she too finds unconscionable.

“It’s sad that someone would go around the neighborhood and steal children’s toys,” she said.

Bike theft is all too common in Kitsap County and across the country. In Bremerton alone, 69 bikes have been reported stolen between Jan. 1, 2013 and today. Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan said the best thing you can do, other than make sure the bike is locked up, is get the serial number off of it for safe keeping and take a picture. And, if it is stolen, be sure to report it to police.

“We recover a bicycles fairly frequently,” Strachan said. “We have a really hard time getting them back to people if they don’t report it.”

Alexandra’s bike, unfortunately, remains missing. But there is a silver lining.

Bremerton resident Joanne Jogerst saw a post from Flacco on a Facebook page. She knew a man named Thom Kalmbach, a Renton resident who grew up in Bremerton — and that he might have a bike. Kalmbach contacted me and said his 13-year-old daughter had indeed outgrown her bike and he was willing to part ways with it. I arranged a meeting at Evergreen-Rotary Park this afternoon for the parties to meet.

Alexandra had no idea.

“I hear someone borrowed your bike,” Kalmbach said as he approached. “And they didn’t give it back.”

“Stole it,” Alexandra replied.

Then, Kalmbach wheeled over a white and purple bike with thick mountain bike tires. Alexandra’s eyes lit up.

She quickly got on the saddle and began riding it around the Evergreen-Rotary Park boat launch parking lot.

“I love it,” she said.

Flacco said they’ll make sure to get a lock to deter thieves in the future.

Alexandra Funari, 10, celebrates after she rode her new bike at Evergreen-Rotary Park in Bremerton on Wednesday. To her right is her mom, Bonnie Flacco. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN
Alexandra Funari, 10, celebrates after she rode her new bike at Evergreen-Rotary Park in Bremerton on Wednesday. To her right is her mom, Bonnie Flacco. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN
Alexandra with her new bike. In the center is Tom Kalmbach of Renton, who gave her the bike, and Joanne Jogerst who contacted Tom. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN
Alexandra with her new bike. In the center is Tom Kalmbach of Renton, who gave her the bike, and Joanne Jogerst who contacted Tom. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN

 

 

 

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