MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On the river’s edge in north Minneapolis, dozens of teens were celebrating Thursday a summer of success. They worked for Teen Teamworks, cleaning up city parks.

But for two of kids, the summer was bittersweet.

“I was really frustrated,” said teen worker Etonam Kagni.

Kagni and Dal Bouder had their bikes, their means of transportation to work, stolen.

“It was heartbreaking, really heartbreaking, and they were stolen right in our park right around our tool shed,” said Clem Crowe, a Teen Teamworks supervisor.

The young men were working in Powderhorn Park picking up trash and fixing equipment, when the theft happened.

“I was able to catch one of the park police who happen to be in the vicinity at the time, and she took it from there,” Crowe said.

She says the officer was not able to recover the stolen bikes, but what she did do was even better.

She contacted Bike Cops for Kids, a program that began 6 years ago by two officers who worked in north Minneapolis.

Bike cop Mike Kirchen says he knew just what to do.

“We knew we had a lot of funding left, so we thought they got their bikes stolen here, they are trying to beautify the city of Minneapolis, and they get their bikes stolen out of a park,” he said. “It’s kind of a no-brainer for us. We got them new bikes.”

For Kagni and Bouder words were hard to find to express their happiness.

“Last one is old one, this one is a new one,” Bourder said. “I am so happy.”

Both also learned the hard way how to protect what they have.

“Lock up your bike,” Kagni said.

Bike Cops for Kids is a program that works off of donated funds, and it’s designed to get young people in Minneapolis to meet police officers in a positive way.

Reg Chapman