Thieves nab bikes meant for children's charity

July 31, 2012 4:33:54 PM PDT
A former Baytown police officer has a big heart and wants to help kids. Now, he's hoping to catch the criminals who've taken away gifts for children who need them.

The former officer is taking used bikes and fixing them up to give away to less fortunate children. But thieves took his latest projects from right outside his home.

He served the community for years as an officer and even in his retirement he finds ways to help those in need. And some thieves that recently stole bikes meant for children can't break his spirit.

Seventy-two-year-old Fat Mac, as he likes to be called, is a retired Baytown police officer. How he starts each morning now keeps childhood memories at the surface.

"I can remember when I was a kid up in East Texas, my first bicycle was an old 26-inch western flyer bicycle -- the big one," he said.

Though his days of being a cop are over, he's still dealing with criminals. A few days ago, a truck backed in and stole three bikes he was rehabbing for kids at Christmas.

"It takes a low-life person to do that. If they had come up here and told me, 'Well I can't afford a bicycle for my son,' I'd probably gave him one," Fat Mac said.

Nine years ago, he started making over used bikes and giving them away in the east side of Baytown on the Saturday before Christmas.

Last year, Fat Mac gave away 500 bikes. He can't forget one little girl's reaction.

"She gave me a hug and a smile about a mile long and it made all worth while," he said.

He filed a police report with Baytown PD, but no sign of the bikes thieves yet. So, he'll just keep checking tires and tightening chains and keep thinking of all the kids that will get a free bike come this Christmas.

"It gets to this old man's heart," he said.

Fat Mac still plans to hold his annual Christmas bike giveaway in Baytown the week before Christmas. He hopes to beat last years record of 500 bikes donated to kids in need of a bike.

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