The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department evidence unit has to hold on to some things, but one type of item continuously piles up: bicycles.
“A majority of them are found property,” said Sgt. Doug Novak, who heads the Sheriff’s Department’s forensic services unit. “They stay here a minimum of 90 days for people to call to claim their bikes, but a majority of these stay here a year to give them extra time to come and claim the bikes.”
If no one claims them, the bikes can be thrown away, but why toss them when they’re supposed to be ridden? That’s where House of Praise Beth-Judah pastor Darrell Croft comes in.
“We look them over, we probably take the tires off and make sure they’re still good,” Croft said. “If not, we replace the tubes and the cables for the brakes and just touch up. If we need to paint them, we do.”
Croft refurbishes bikes released from the Sheriff’s Department and gives them to local children in need. As someone who grew up in poverty, he said it keeps him grounded.
“It teaches me not to forget where I came from and even if I’m blessed, try to be a blessing to others,” Croft said. “It’s a pretty neat feeling in your heart to be able to help somebody with something that would otherwise be thrown away.”
Novak agreed it’s a unique way to serve the community.
“You can see the joy in the children and you can see the joy in the families that don’t have the money, being able to ride their bikes through the neighborhood and just have the smile on their faces,” Novak said.