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Academy replaces, provides extra bikes after theft from Baytown Blue Santa program

BAYTOWN, Texas – Bikes were swiped and spirits were crushed.  For Baytown detectives, this holiday theft felt like a scene out of the movie “The Grinch.” 

“It’s frustrating and it's aggravating to have somebody, this time of year, who quite frankly was heartless to take things that you know are meant for children in need,” said  Lt. Steve Dorris of the Baytown Police Department. 

A little over a week ago, several bikes donated to the annual Baytown Blue Santa program were stolen from O’Neil’s Sports Bar and Grill.

“It’s huge because the unfortunate reality is that there are children out there who don’t necessarily have the means to have Christmas gifts,” Dorris said. 

Detective work paid off, and police ultimately made an arrest.

And on Thursday, there was a surprise donation. 

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“We saw on Channel 2 news about some bikes getting stolen here in Baytown and so we wanted to give back to the community and help out the kids,” said  Joe Blauer, store director for Academy Sports + Outdoors.

Academy Sports in Baytown not only replaced the stolen bikes, but donated five more, plus helmets.

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“Academy stepped up in a big way,”  Dorris said, “It just goes to show the support we have from our community.”

“It’s really going to help those kids to make a special Christmas for these kids,”  Blauer said.

Santa in a blue suit was grateful for the boost to his toy load.

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For detectives, community and generosity are all wrapped in this gift. 

“For us to be able to go out there and give these things to children is huge,” Dorris said. 

The Baytown Blue Santa toys with be donated this Saturday in Baytown. 


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