Local officer is a hero in eyes of young bicycle theft victim
A Lacy Lakeview police officer is being called a hero for buying a bike for a boy who had his stolen during a trip to the store to grab dinner for his family.
"They looked on the security cameras and my bike was stolen,” said Robert Alvarenga.
Alvarenga, 13, was picking up tortillas for his mother at the Dollar General Store on N. Lacy Dr. Tuesday afternoon when the bike he’d saved up for was taken.
He called his mother, Martha Hernandez, who called police for help.
"You could hear it in his voice he was upset because he had earned that bike,” said Hernandez.
A few months ago, after months of mowing lawns, doing chores, and helping his mother with his two younger sisters, Alvarenga finally earned enough money to buy his own BMX bike.
“I was pretty angry and sad, but then I realized the cops would try to do their job and find my bike,” said Alvarenga.
One officer is doing a lot more than helping find the stolen bike.
"When I decided to get this job I said 'hey, people need me,’ then I'm gonna help them,” said Officer Thomas Beasley, a retired Navy veteran who became a police officer later in life.
“To help people,” he said.
During the investigation, Beasley learned he had something in common with Alvarenga.
"I bought my first bike mowing grass,” said Beasley.
In addition to being a hard worker, Beasley said he also learned how polite and kind Alvarenga was to others.
"Everybody I've talked to, they all have good things to say about him," said Beasley. "You can't ask much from a child these days, a lot of children aren't that way."
After a woman named Ms. Farmer overheard what happened and dropped her son’s old bike by the police station to give it to Alvarenga and it was too big, Beasley decided to go buy the middle-schooler a brand new bike paid out of his own pocket.
"Went over to Walmart…had the bike in the back of my patrol car,” said Beasley. "With all the negativity that's going on in the world with police officers, that wasn't because of all that negativity, it was just something I felt like doing for him because he worked hard."
Still upset about his own bike, when Beasley went to deliver the surprise, Alvarenga had gone on a walk not knowing what the officer had done.
"When he opened the door to his squad car, my mouth dropped,” said Hernandez. "He's a blessing, I really appreciate everything that he did for my son."
When he returned from the walk, Hernandez showed her son what Beasley had left for him.
“Of course I love it, it's amazing,” said Alvarenga.
The teen rode his new bike to the store Wednesday to pick up milk and cookies and a card, then rode it to the police station to give the items to officer Beasley to show his appreciation.
"It almost brought me to tears that someone could be so generous and nice to someone that needs help,” said Alvarenga.
Beasley wasn't expecting anything in return.
"The smile on his face was enough for me,” said Beasley. “I don't think I'm anything special, I don't think I'm a hero or anything else, I just do my job, try to do it to the best of my ability, and hopefully at least some of the people that we deal with, they'll appreciate what we do."
While he didn’t want any accolades, Beasley’s superiors praised his actions.
"Officer Beasley's got the biggest heart,” said Sgt. Amanda Leka. "It's just nice that our citizens know that we do care and love them and appreciate them, and we are taking care of them the best way we can."
“I am so blessed and humbled to work in a caring community and to be the Chief of an entire department of officers, dispatchers and civilians who exhibit what I’ve heard described as ‘Servant Leadership’ which was put into action by Officer Beasley,” said Lacy Lakeview Police Chief John Truehitt. “Great job, Officer Beasley!”
Although Beasley bought Alvarenga a new bike, police aren’t giving up on the old one.
"Our officers are hitting it hard because we've had a few thefts of bicycles here lately,” said Leka.
Beasley said he’s still going to look for the stolen bike and they already have a few leads because the theft was caught on surveillance video.
The bike is a black, BMX with foot pegs on the front and back with white lettering on the frame that reads “Nitro Circus."
Police believe the suspects are juveniles; one is described as a white male wearing a white T-shirt, the other is described as a tall, black male wearing all black.
Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call Lacy Lakeview Police at (254) 799-2479.