INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 19, 2016) - Shortly after losing his girlfriend to ovarian cancer, the director for a local charity learned his organization had been targeted by thieves.
Tom Hanley, Executive Director of Nine13sports, says sometime over the weekend, somebody broke into a trailer used by his organization and stole bicycles, a TV monitor and other electronics.
“It’s half of our bicycles,” Hanley said. “So we have a fleet of eight bikes that we take into schools across central Indiana. They took four.”
Hanley says the trailer was parked near the corner of 34th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The thieves apparently cut latches on the trailer to gain entry before making off with the bikes and equipment.
The equipment is used at schools around Indianapolis to expose children to the sport of cycling, and encourage health and fitness. The theft has already disrupted youth events that were scheduled for this week.
“You know it really breaks my heart,” Hanley said. “As much as we try to help the community and help the youth all across Indianapolis, to have something like this happen-- it’s devastating.”
But the loss is magnified by the timing of the theft.
Over the same weekend, Hanley said goodbye to his girlfriend, 28-year old Denver Hutt. Hutt passed away Saturday morning after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer. Denver Hutt was a well known entrepreneur who spent several years running the Speak Easy in Broad Ripple. The Speak Easy served as a “club house” networking hub for Indianapolis entrepreneurs. Her death sent ripples across the Indianapolis business community.
Hanley posted on Facebook shortly after learning of the thefts:
“Whoever broke into the Nine13 trailer this evening, in the middle of the single hardest weekend of my life, didn't just steal part of my dream and passion, you stole an opportunity for these kids to ride our bikes tomorrow.”
“Just disbelief,” Hanley said. “Just truly disbelief of is this really happening? Is this one more thing that is occurring right now? There’s never a good time for this, but it’s absolutely devastating for myself and my staff and the whole community.”
A Celebration of Life ceremony for Denver Hutt is planned for Thursday evening at the Speak Easy, from 5-8:30 p.m.
Hanley said he is already talking to suppliers about replacing the stolen bicycles. Nine13sports was also accepting donations here.
But he still has hope that whoever took them will have a change of heart.
“If you have our equipment, if you have our bicycles, please reach out to us,” Hanley said. “We just want the equipment back.”
Police investigators were working to find any surveillance video in the area that may have captured the crime, but it was not known if any exists as of Tuesday afternoon.
Anyone with information that could help solve the crime is asked to contact Indianapolis Metropolitan Police, or Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.