Chico recycled bike builder has entire tool set stolen

Apr 28, 2014 6:22 PM

Ron Toppi is a bicyclist, a builder and a believer in recycling.

“I’m all about reusing things,” he said.

Inside a cargo container turned community bike shop called the Old Spokes Home at the Grub Cooperative in Chico, Toppi rebuilds unused bikes and gets them to those in need.

“Some of them will go to people that don’t have money that want to come here and learn how to fix up their own bikes,” he said. “Some of them I will fix up myself and I'll sell if I need some money to buy different things for the shop.”

Toppi has done this bicycle resurrection for the past two years and says he’s loved every minute of it. But last weekend his heart sank when his bike shop was burglarized. All the tools and many of the parts he uses to give discarded bikes new lives were stolen.

“They used bolt cutters and cut the lock and opened the big over head door,” he said. “They stole all my tools and a couple rolls of cable, inner tubes, new tires and my whole tool box.”

And it gets worse as crooks struck again a few days later.

“I collect old trailers and I fix them up, strip them down and rebuild them,” Toppi said. “They’ve stolen two of them in the last three days, too.”

While Toppi is an aspiring pacifist, he is very upset about these crimes. But for a man that has given to so many without ever asking for anything in return he finally has a request: bring his tools back.


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