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Bike giveaway popular with Yokota residents

By LEON COOK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 3, 2016

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — With gas prices on the rise, some Yokota residents have found a two-wheeled way to get around, thanks to the security forces.

“Every spring we go out and find the bikes on post that look like they’ve been abandoned,” said Staff Sgt. Louis Bradshaw, a criminal investigator with the 374th Security Forces Squadron. “We look for the bikes that are excessively rusty, have flat tires, or that dorm managers tell us haven’t moved for months.”

Those unsightly, neglected bikes are impounded, with the owners given time to reclaim them before they’re put up for grabs. The impound lot opened its gates Friday to clear its backlog and help out valid ID cardholders willing to put in a little work and money to get their new rides in road-worthy condition.

There were 148 bicycles up for grabs. Some were admittedly in a state of disrepair, but the prospect of a free bicycle was an enticing one — two-thirds were gone by lunchtime.

Cook.leon@stripes.com
 

Robert Gonzalez, left, an investigator with 374th Security Forces Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, registers a formerly impounded bicycle to its new owner on Friday, June 3, 2016.
LEON COOK/STARS AND STRIPES

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