Joe Coccagna, left, is raising money for Fritz, who had his bike stolen in 2018. Coccagna unknowingly bought the bike from Facebook marketplace, and the two met recently while he was out on a ride through Fernwood. (Photo contributed by Joe Coccagna)

Joe Coccagna, left, is raising money for Fritz, who had his bike stolen in 2018. Coccagna unknowingly bought the bike from Facebook marketplace, and the two met recently while he was out on a ride through Fernwood. (Photo contributed by Joe Coccagna)

VIDEO: Victoria man’s stolen bike pedals full circle

Man unknowingly buys stolen bike, starts fundraiser for new one

A Victoria man is flipping the script on an unusual story of a stolen bike.

Joe Coccagna was out on an pedal around Fernwood, when he had a chance encounter with a man named Fritz.

“I stopped with my bike outside where Fritz worked, and he kind of looked at me funny, and did a second look at the bike,” said Coccagna. “Then he came up and asked me a few questions, and we realized that the bike actually used to be his, but it was stolen in 2018.”

Coccagna, who recently moved to Victoria to study, said he bought the bike from Facebook marketplace from another person, who he doesn’t believe stole the bike either.

“I think the bike must have had a couple different owners before it reached me,” said Coccagna.

Feeling bothered by what had happened to Fritz, Coccagna wanted to do something to help; he decided to start a fundraiser to buy Fritz a new bike.

“I wanted to try and find a solution where everyone was happy, so no one would have to lose,” said Coccagna. “I’ve only been here for a short time, but I have a bit of a social network, and I have my network back home in Ontario, so I thought I could do my best to come up with a new bike for him.”

ALSO READ: Police respond to successful Facebook scam on Oak Bay resident

Coccagna put together a few videos to help promote the fundraiser that runs until the end of July. Half of the proceeds will go towards the Black Health Alliance.

“Fritz is studying to be a paramedic, and he is wired to help others. I think he was a bit uncomfortable with having someone do this for him, so he asked to have half of the money donated to a local cause,” Coccagna said.

Black Health Alliance is a charity that helps to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada, focusing on building connected communities, anti-racism, and healthy inequalities.

“Over the past couple of months it’s been incredible to see communities rally for those in need. It’s brought out the best in ourselves and our communities,” Coccagna stated on the fundraiser page.

For more information visit fundrazr.com/blitzforfritz.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CyclingVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

Registered nurse Sammy Mullally displayed a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., in 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Councillors call on Saanich to address overdose crisis, explore options for safe consumption sites

‘There’s no vaccine for this problem,’ new action is needed, councillors say

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Most Read