A father and son have been left devastated and worried after thieves stole their ‘pride and joy’ mountain bikes worth thousands of pounds each.
They woke up on Saturday morning to discover their wooden outbuilding had been opened, with locks ripped through, which made their hearts sink.
Jared Birchley, 53, and his 17-year-old son James have been mountain biking for five years on trails across the country, as well as visiting elderly family in Newark.
Jared, of Farndon in Newark, has admitted he’s suffered a loss of sleep after the incident. The metals specialist said: “When we found the door open and the bikes gone, my heart sank and my first thought was for James, who I knew would be devastated.
“He also often rides the bike to see his grandad in the village who has dementia to visit him and cook for him and do the odd job for him. It’s his main mode of transport really.
“Personally, it has had a more troubling effect on me. I haven’t slept well since the burglary and am waking up in the night feeling very anxious.
“I thought I’d made the building where they were kept very secure but the violent manner in which the locks were ripped through has made me concerned as to what I would have done in any case had I confronted the burglars.”
The pair will make do with spare old bikes for the time being. They admit the whole incident has left the nervous about getting a new bike again.
James loves his hobby so much that he cleans his bike thoroughly and is well known to keep it in such great condition.
He added: “We do have a spare old bike, but the bikes really were our pride and joy.
“It’s made me much more anxious about getting a nice bike again, which is a shame, because although you can hire a bike, there’s nothing quite like having your own is there.
“It’s a way for me to still spend some time with my youngest boy. We’ve gradually built up to being able to afford good mid-range mountain bikes and it is a hobby we very much enjoy doing together.
“James keeps his in meticulous condition, cleaning it carefully after each time he uses it. He’s known in some of the bike shops in Newark not only for having a nice bike, but having on in such good and well-looked after condition.
“In fact, when he takes it in to have new brake discs or for servicing, his bike takes pride of place in the shop because it is so well looked after.
“I bought an electric bike for myself, to make it easier for me to keep up with him on the uphill bits as I’m not as young as I used to be.
“Thankfully James has taken it well and we are both hoping the insurance company will pay out so we can get biking again as soon as possible.
“Replacing the bikes or even finding the ones that were stolen will repair some of the emotional damage, but I will certainly feel much less safe than I used to.”
The bikes were taken from a secure outbuilding in Fosse Road in Farndon on Friday evening.
Jared appreciated everything the force has done so far to try and retrieve the high valued bikes back for them.
He added: “The bikes were valuable and
were a source of much pleasure to us both, but they are only material things after all and can be replaced in time.
“There are many more important things going on at the moment with the Covid-19 outbreak and I know police resources have to be directed towards much more important matters and I am very grateful for the prompt and kind way the police have handled the situation despite limited time, I really am.
“I hope we will either get the bikes back or be able to look at new ones after an insurance settlement, but it’s made me feel much less secure in my own home from now on.”
The bikes (pictured) have been described as a Scott E-Genius electric mountain bike in red and a giant trance advanced full suspension mountain bike in blue.
Police Constable Scott Chambers is leading the investigation. He said: “We were called over the weekend with a report of a burglary happened overnight on Friday.
“The offenders forced entry into the wooden outbuilding and broken the locks that were holding the two bikes together.
“The bike is very distinctive due to its colouring and is in immaculate condition with hardly any scratches or damage to the paintwork.
“The owner of the bike has confirmed that the thieves did not take the charger and cable, which means the bikes will run out of battery after approximately six hours riding.
“We are also keeping an eye on online selling sites too, as due to their colours, they will be very noticeable on any attempted sale.”
If you saw or heard anything suspicious please call 101, quoting incident number 469 of 26 September 2020.