Thieves have stolen £10,000 worth of bicycles used to teach school children how to ride safely.
More than 20 bikes were taken from Dixons Allerton Academy on Monday night or early Tuesday morning when panels were removed from the roof of the garages where they were kept. The doors were then opened from the inside.
The bikes appear to have been ridden off towards Ladyhill Park, from tyre tracks found on the grass, with no evidence of a vehicle being used in the raid.
It’s thought from the CCTV evidence that two offenders entered the school by climbing the gates, and others waited outside to take the bikes away.
The Principal, Rachel Kidd, told the Telegraph and Argus: “We were absolutely heartbroken to discover the theft. It is the children’s education and it is so sad that someone would break into a school and take the children’s things.”
The bikes, which all have the word DIXONS painted on the frames, include three 14-inch wheel red Saracens; three 24-inch-wheel white Saracens; seven Silver Scott Aspects, three medium and four large; two medium white White Scott Scales; three 14-inch Commencal, two red and one black; and two silver Genesis Core 20, 17 and 19 inch with purple graphics.
Mrs Kidd added: “We have been keeping something very precious in our garage. It’s an enormous loss and so sad.
“I am hoping we’ll eventually be able to replace the bikes and when we do we will ensure they are stored very safely. We are buying 21 more security cameras for the site.
“We are insured, but I don’t know how and when we are going to replace the bikes. In the meantime, the children will be doing football or some other sports. We’ll keep them fully exercised.
“It’s such a shame because cycling is so exciting and different.
“It’s very sad that some human beings can take from children. It had taken us a while to build up the collection.”
Recently we reported another similar raid at the other end of the country in Bath, where thieves stole 25 bikes and other equipment worth an estimated £25,000 from the new Odd Down bike circuit.
The bikes are Cannondales and Konas and a mixture of drop-bar road bike and flat-bar bikes with slicks. The bikes are mostly used by local youngsters using the closed circuit to build their cycling skills and get a first taste of racing.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.