The Casper Police Department on Monday announced it will begin to donate recovered, unclaimed bicycles to nonprofit organizations within the community.

"Each year, the Department is unable to return many bicycles because the rightful owner doesn't claim the stolen bike," Interim Chief Steve Schulz said in a statement. "We don't want to see these bikes go to waste, and we know that many of our nonprofit partners could put these bikes to great use."

The department is encouraging nonprofit groups in the Casper area to apply for the bicycles online. The application form can be found here.

Applications must be submitted before 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1. A CPD committee with allocate the bicycles based on the requests, and the bikes can be picked up at the police department Dec. 11-13.

"We want the bicycles to be in the hands of our partners before Christmas," Schulz explained.

The bikes, of course, are in used condition, and will be donated "as-is."

"We're giving away approximately one hundred and fifty to two hundred bikes," Detective John Hatcher told reporters on Monday. He says the police department end up with 80-150 unclaimed bicycles each year.

"These are bicycles that people have lost, or have not recovered. Maybe they've been stolen and somebody didn't know their serial number, and the police department ends up with them," Hatcher continued.

"During this time of Christmas season, hopefully some nonprofits can get these bicycles out to kids," Hatcher said.

Hatcher also said that in the coming weeks, the department will initiate a program which will allow residents to register their bicycles with the department. Upon registration, a bicycle owner will receive a sticker to put on the bike, indicating the bike is registered with the department.

The goal, Hatcher explained, is to ensure folks can get their bikes back, in the event they are stolen.

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