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Abilene police give woman new bicycle after she loses 2 to theft

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ABILENE, Texas - Thanks to police, an Abilene woman has a new bicycle after someone recently stole two other bikes from her.

For the past month, Candace Oliver has had to walk 45 minutes to the bus station to get to work, then it's another long walk home. It used to be a 20-minute bike ride until someone stole her bike from the bus station, even though she had it chained.

"I can't lie, my feelings were hurt because I really liked that bike," Oliver said. "It was just a pure violation of my privacy. I mean, that's my stuff."

A coworker gave her a second bike. That one was stolen from her carport this past weekend before she even got to ride it.

"I wondered, was it the same person that took the first one,?" Oliver said.

"[She] never fails to have a smile on her face," said Bryan Hunt, the warehouse manager at Coleman American Moving Services, where Oliver works. "[She] never fails to try to liven up the room when she walks in, never complains."

When Oliver's manager found out what happened he contacted KTXS, and that's when we reached out to police to see if they had any leads. Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge told us to bring Oliver by the police department.

"We know who stole your bicycle," Standridge told Oliver. "On the same day he stole your bike, two other bicycles were also stolen."

Standridge said once they get a warrant that suspect will be arrested. They were not able to find Oliver's bike, so Abilene police and the nonprofit Connecting Caring Communities presented her with a new one.

"Oh this is awesome," Oliver said. "Thank you. I really appreciate it. I can't wait to ride it. I'm going to ride it home."

It's one of dozens of stolen bikes police have recovered but can't find the original owner. They give away about 100 of these bikes every year.

"Versus giving them away, we'd like to give them back to the rightful owners, but to do that you need to record the make, model and serial number on your bike as soon as you purchase it," Standridge said.

It's advice Oliver will be sure to take. Police said she did everything right by having it chained and calling police when it was stolen.

And yes, even with an offer for a lift home, Candace chose to ride home on her new bike instead.

Police say the suspect in this case told them Oliver's bike was then stolen from him.

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