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CNY bike giveaway organizer shares frustrations following recent event

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Jan Maloff, organizer of the Central New York Bike Giveaway is sharing his frustrations following the most recent giveaway.

Three people allegedly had their bikes stolen after the event.

“This is a really sad situation,” said Jan Maloff, organizer of CNY Bike Giveaway.

A situation, Maloff says has never happened before. He’s been holding the annual event for nearly 30 years.

“We have people living in our midst who have no fear of the law. If they see something they want, they are going to take it,” said Maloff.

That’s exactly what Maloff says happened during the giveaway, held right before Christmas on December 23, 2023, inside Fowler High School.

“People who had to wait outside were very unhappy and it was reported to me that some of the people as they left there had their bikes taken away from them,” said Maloff.

Maloff says he was told people were arguing outside. He says he’s frustrated. But overall, Maloff says the turnout was great, with 15 hundred bikes given out before they eventually ran out of bikes.

“I sent some of my volunteers back to where we had more bicycles prepped and I think we brought in another 2 or 3 hundred bikes, and they were gone in minutes,” said Maloff.

It goes to show how much of a need this community has. That’s why Maloff is ensuring changes are made come this December.

“Next year, I will probably hire a private security force in addition to any Syracuse Police aid we may get to make sure something like this does not happen again,” said Maloff.

The Syracuse Police Department confirmed to NewsChannel 9 that there were disputes that happened outside Fowler High School during the bike giveaway but did not receive any reports of stolen bikes.

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