Monday, 23 July 2018

Mother offers £500 reward to find son’s stolen bike

A MOTHER has offered a £500 reward to catch the thieves who stole her son’s bike on the eve of

A MOTHER has offered a £500 reward to catch the thieves who stole her son’s bike on the eve of his birthday.

Ollie Andrews-Hirons’ gold BMX was taken from outside Henley leisure centre on Tuesday last week, the day before he was due to visit a bike track with his friends to celebrate turning 11.

He had been playing squash with a friend and left the bike unlocked in a cycle rack but when he returned an hour later it had gone.

His mother Tina Andrews, of Hobbs End, Henley, believes the £160 bike was stolen by a gang.

She said: “I’m angry that you can’t send your kids to play a game of squash down the road without having their bike stolen.

“I don’t think this is an isolated case. I think they’ve stolen a few. We want these people caught. If they are going around stealing bikes and the police are powerless to do something we want someone to catch them. This is about protecting the community.”

Ollie, who lives with his mother and stepfather Kevin Andrews, said he was upset when he found his bike missing. He said: “At first I thought I had put it somewhere else and forgotten where. The theft spoilt my birthday a little bit.”

He said he had been looking forward to taking his bike to the track in Maidenhead with his father Alex Hirons and six friends. He had to use his father’s mountain bike instead.

Ollie, a former pupil at Valley Road School who starts at Pangbourne College next month, said the bike was his favourite possession. “I’ve been out on it every day in the summer holidays,” he said. “I feel lost without it. Now I can’t go out on my bike with my mates.”

Mrs Andrews, 48, said: “Ollie was very shaken up and tearful. Locking his bike up is one of the things we will have to teach him. It’s the reality of today’s society.”

She and Ollie were at Pizza Express in the town centre on the evening of the theft when they saw two teenagers, who appeared to be trying to lift a bike out of a cycle rack in Market Place. Ollie then recalled seeing the same pair hanging around in Greys Road while he was cycling to the leisure centre.

Mrs Andrews, who runs her own PR agency, hopes the reward will help the police track down the thieves and recover the bike.

She said: “The police said they will log the crime and if they happen to find the bike, they will let us know.

“They told me there have been a lot of bike thefts recently. I think those boys we saw trying to take the other bike could be linked.”

Police said they would like to speak to two boys, aged about 14 or 15. One was tall and slim and the other was tall and overweight with blond hair.

Anyone with information should call the police via the non-emergency 101 number.

The reward will be paid to the person who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves and the return of the bike.

* A bicycle was stolen from a drive in Cromwell Road, Henley, between July 30 and August 5 while the owner was on holiday and a bike belonging to a member of staff at the Angel on the Bridge was taken from outside the pub on August 15.

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