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Crooks made off with about 30 bicycles from a Tacoma program that helps low and middle-income students develop skills and earn their own bicycles.

Someone broke into a shipping container at Tacoma's IDEA High School where the bikes were being stored.

About $20,000 worth of equipment was stolen.

"We target schools that have a high free and reduced lunch rate, trying to get bicycles to students who normally would not have access to them," said Leon Nettels, field coordinator for the Major Taylor Project, which owns the bicycles.

Students go on trips, learn to maintain bicycles, and earn their own by fixing donated bicycles at the "Second Cycle" shop, located at IDEA High School.

"It's just sad," Nettels said.

The Chief Leschi School bike club had to be postponed immediately, but the theft will ultimately affect all the school bicycle clubs they operate.

Police are searching for the thieves.