POLICE in Scarborough are hunting a thief who broke into a van to steal a distinctive and valuable mountain bike.
It was taken from Cleveland Avenue in Newlands and owner Simon Gummer is desperate to retrieve his missing cycle because he is due to compete in his first race of the season this weekend.
The 23-year-old, from Main Street in East Ayton, said he had spent about £3,500 getting it race ready and it was irreplacable.
He added the incident was around 5.45am on Saturday and said: “We were all still asleep. My girlfriend woke up because of the noise. Neighbours saw him making off on the bike.”
They reported the theft and when police investigated the scene they found an abandoned bike about 20m from the van and it is believed that the suspect had been riding it before he stole Mr Gummer’s bike.
He said: “He dumped the bike and walked back to my van. He used a paving slab to smash the driver’s side window and the driver’s side rear window. He ripped the glass out and pulled the bike out through the window and made off on it.”
Mr Gummer said the thief made a lot of noise during the incident because of the van’s toughened glass.
He said that he raced all over the north of England and Scotland and only turned professional last year. He added: “It’s my passion. I was hoping to start doing national events next year.
“My first race was meant to be this weekend – I just want my bike back.
Since I was 14 I’ve been building various bikes up, chopping and changing various bits, to get it where it is.
“I’ve built every single piece of it and it has sentimental value. That’s the main thing and it feels like I’ve lost a kid.
“It’s not just the bike it’s the lifestyle.
“People have been on the phone to me saying they will look out for it.”
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said the white Trek Session mountain bike was stolen from the back of a locked Ford Transit van at 5.45am on Saturday.
Anyone with any information should contact Scarborough police on 101, press option two and ask for PC Daniel Owen.
Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.