Columbus children's charity rebounds from burglary - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus children's charity rebounds from burglary

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Young burglars ransacked East Coast Body Shop, taking donated bikes that were supposed to be given to less fortunate children in the area. Young burglars ransacked East Coast Body Shop, taking donated bikes that were supposed to be given to less fortunate children in the area.
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The owner of East Coast Body Shop has a dream to provide the less fortunate children in his neighborhood with bicycles for the holidays. Currently, he has promised bicycles to about 140 Columbus area children and he is planning to distribute them on December 15.

Chester Jackson said, "I am about 80% of getting the bicycles repaired and refurbished, but we are yet short."

Jackson's dream was threatened when young burglars ransacked his business, close in age to the children he was hoping to help.  They came on multiple nights and stole from the pile of donated and broken bicycles that Jackson was steadily working to fix.  Often the thieves tried to take more than they could carry, and left them lying on sides of the road throughout the neighborhood.

"All of those individuals that were recorded on surveillance, about seven or eight cameras, we know who you are," said Jackson.

Police were notified, but Jackson is not pressing charges. He said one of the juveniles responsible for the crime has returned the bicycle he stole and apologized.  He wants others to follow that example.

"I've had one young man come and take the bicycle from here, not asking, he came back and said, Mr. Jackson, I came back to tell me 'I'm sorry. What can I do?'  that ran deep."

All of Jackson's spare time has been devoted to working on this project, and he is very close to reaching his goal.  He is grateful to the generous donors who have replaced the stolen bicycles, but he still needs a few more.  He said he is also looking for helmets and training wheels and he's accepting unwanted items at his business at 923 Farr Road in Columbus. 

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