Police are appealing for information after an Anfield charity cyclist was robbed of his hand-made bike by a man armed with a machete. Tom Coddington had finished assembling the bike just an hour before it was taken at around 5.30pm on Thursday August 25.
The Liverpool Echo reports that Coddington had spent two years collecting recycled piece from which to construct the bike and was planning on undertaking a Liverpool-London bike ride and a possible ascent of Ben Nevis to raise money for the BDFA charity, which helps terminally ill Batten disease sufferers like his five-year-old step-son James.
Coddington said he was on Laddock Close when a large pony-tailed man demanded the bike from him. When he first refused, he pulled a small machete-like knife from his shirt. He then swung at the bike, denting the paintwork and narrowly missing Coddington’s leg.
“I’ve been in horrible situations but nothing like that. I couldn’t breathe and just felt helpless as he went off, but it wasn’t worth losing a leg over it.
“Bikes are a big part of my life. The last screw on it had been tightened about half an hour before – I put so much time and effort into it. The frame was from the 1990s. I was just out test-riding it for the first time.”
A white and red Santa Cruz Bullit, the bike has ‘Nukeproof’ written on the left-rear swing arm and ‘Cycle Initiative’ in bright blue on the right-rear one.
The suspect is described as white, 5ft 7in tall and of large build, with a pale complexion, long greasy brown hair in a ponytail and a short brown beard. He was wearing a dark grey polo top and knee-length beige combat shorts.
Detective Inspector Steve McGrath from Liverpool CID said:
“This was a frightening attack which took place in broad daylight, and has left the victim understandably distressed. The bike is not only valuable but extremely distinctive, so we are issuing a number of images in an effort to track the bike down.
“If anyone witnessed the robbery or has seen this bike ridden in the area in recent days, please contact us. We are determined to find the man responsible and bring him to justice.”
Anyone with information about this incident should call Liverpool CID on 0151 777 4065, call 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.