Bicycle stolen from East Ridge church recovered - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Bicycle stolen from East Ridge church recovered

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EAST RIDGE, TN (WRCB) -- An appeal by a local pastor for the return of a stolen bicycle, no questions asked, has worked.  Jeff Crim, past of East Ridge's Ascension Lutheran Church, said Wednesday the bicycle has been recovered.

"A person, who will remain anonymous, contacted the church and provided information about the bike's location at a local pawn shop," Pastor Crim said in a statement.

After discussing the matter with the East Ridge Police Department, Pastor Crim said the bicycle's owner voluntarily chose to redeem the bicycle from the pawn shop at his own expense rather than pursue a course of action that would likely result in criminal prosecution of a third party who had voluntarily come forward and did not appear to be the actual thief.

"Based on descriptions provided as the story unfolded, the actual thief appears to have been someone well known to both myself, as pastor of the congregation, and to several members of the congregation," Crim added. "If the statements made and descriptions provided are correct, the bicycle appears to have been stolen by someone we have given financial and food assistance to on several occasions."

Crim credited coverage by Chattanooga television, newspapers and radio for leading to the recovery of the bicycle.  He also offered thanks to East Ridge and Chattanooga police officers who investigated the case.

But he also expressed regret over the actions of the thief. "The painful part for me personally is that he knew there was no need to steal from us. Had he asked, he would have received," said Crim.

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