September 2 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
A budding cyclist has spoken of his devastation after waking to find his £8,000 racing bike had been stolen from the garage of his south Norfolk home.
Tom Fitzpatrick, 21, of West Church Street, Kenninghall, woke up at 6am on February 23 and noticed the doors to the garage, which contained his Specialised S-Works Venge, were swinging open even though they had been locked the previous night.
When he went to investigate, he found no trace of the bike, which he needs to ride in semi professional events as he looks to join a major racing team.
To make matters worse, he is set to head off to Belgium to compete in under-23 events for riders unsigned by professional teams where he will get to ride against some of the top cyclists in Europe.
He said the red, white and black coloured bike had a distinctive Shimano Groupset with an SRM PowerMeter and a 56cm frame.
There is an 18 carat gold plated chain and the bike is equipped with 3T handle bars which are 40cm in width.
“I woke up at 6am and saw the doors of the garage were swinging open and thought they must have opened in the wind, but when I walked in and saw the bike was gone I put two and two together.
“I was absolutely gutted. The bike costs £8,000 and the garage door had four massive locks on it.
“They removed the paving stones around the garage door and must have prised it open with a crowbar. The locks are not exactly small locks either. It was either a random robbery where they had found a jackpot or they had targeted it,” he said.
Mr Fitzpatrick, who lives with his parents, had worked hard to get back into cycling after suffering from crippling Labyrinthitis, an ailment of the inner ear which caused him to suffer balance problems.
He said he had made progress year-on-year and had been offered a professional contract to race in Belgium.
He has other bikes he can train with in the absence of the stolen cycle, but said these were not of the same quality, adding he was unsure whether his house insurance would cover him for the loss, so he would need all the help he could get to try and recover the Venge.
Insp Terry Lordan, local policing commander for Attleborough, said: “We would urge owners of high-value cycles to consider taking extra security measures where possible.
“These bikes are expensive pieces of equipment, often fitted with additional parts and components that could be individually sold-on, making them very desirable to a thief.
“Additional locks and bolts to outbuilding doors and windows are recommended and where possible it is advisable to install an alarm.
“Bikes should also be secured within the building to a robust bracket or ground anchor, which would deny anyone gaining entry to the building the ability to simply wheel it away.”
Anyone with information about the theft should phone DC Simon Cooper at Thetford police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.