MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Nayaraq Alvarez, 7, was surprised with a new bicycle from police officers Wednesday. It was an award for a poster she made for an anti-bullying project promoting compassion.
When she arrived home with her father and that new bike, they ran into a suspicious man running from their building.
The pair then discovered thieves had broken into their apartment building and stole her mother's bike.
Carlos Alvarez said the crooks took his wife's white Cannondale Quick 4 bicycle, valued at $1,000.
"It's a shame because we have lots of good memories with it," Alvarez said. "We ride it all the time down to South Pointe with my daughter. So we'll have to look for a new one now. Hopefully maybe someone can find it for us."
Alvarez reviewed surveillance footage and found that one of the buildings cameras captured clear footage of a man, wearing a backpack, coming and going from the building several times Wednesday. During one of those visits, he is seen wheeling the white bike out. Alvarez showed Local 10 News the damage done during the burglary.
"They used wire cutters to cut into the mesh and then open the gate and then they come back later," Alvarez said. "They were able to use a wrench to open up our bike room here. They destroyed the handle and they gained access to it."
Alvarez and other residents moved several of the bikes into apartments, including the new bike donated to his daughter from police.
"She was really happy about her 'no place for hate' poster," Alvarez said. "There were other kids also involved, so it was a really nice event, and so for us to come back home later on and find my wife's bike is gone, well, it's kind of sad."
Alvarez filed a police report and gave detectives the surveillance video. Several other Miami Beach residents have reported their bikes stolen over the past couple of weeks.
"He's carrying a big backpack with all kinds of tools, so what else does he have in there?" Alvarez said. "So it could be a potentially dangerous situation for everybody."
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