Have you seen this stolen bike in Great Yarmouth?
- Credit: Google / Mel Hollis
A heartbroken mother from Great Yarmouth is urging people to help find her son's stolen bicycle.
Mother-of-three Mel Hollis, 41, said the theft has left her son feeling anxious as it was his "lifeline".
17-year-old Ajay Clarke was visiting friends on Southtown Common Recreation Ground near Suffolk Road on Wednesday evening.
By 9.30pm, his grey and orange "Voodoo" bicycle - which had cost his mother £485 - was stolen.
Miss Hollis said: "When Ajay called to say his bike had been nicked, you could hear in his voice how angry and upset he was.
"To a lot of people, it's just a bike.
"But it's not. It's Ajay's lifeline. It's how he overcomes his issues and it just breaks my heart that someone can think it's okay to pick up something that's not theirs and do as they please with it."
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Miss Hollis said Ajay suffers with social anxiety and his bike was his pride and joy as it was his way of coping with daily stresses and gave him the ability to see his friends at short notice.
"He did so well to look after it," Miss Hollis said.
Ajay's mother, who is a full-time carer for one of her children, said it is rare she is able to afford to treat her children. However, Ajay's bike was a gift in October 2019, and he "hadn't wanted anything since".
"He kept it in his bedroom and it's well looked after," Miss Hollis said. "He doesn't have a lot, but the bike meant everything to him.
"It's a horrible situation."
As a result of the incident, Miss Hollis said Ajay was left distraught and he no longer wants to go back to Southtown Common. He had also taken the day off college.
Miss Hollis added: "I just want my son's bike back so he can go back to having a social life which he's built up over the years. It's not been easy."
Following the theft, police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.
People who may have witnessed the incident or have information are urged to contact PC Charlotte Trett at Great Yarmouth Police Station on 101.