Charity van targeted by mountain bike thieves
CALLOUS thieves broke into a disabled charity's van – marked with the logo – and stole a bike that was to be used by a 63-year-old to ride more than 50km to raise £1,000 for new facilities.
It means that charity co-ordinator Mick Charles has no bike to ride the 55km section of his incredible 63-km triathlon challenge on Saturday, July 7 – the first endurance event he has attempted in more than 20 years.
The van belonged to Disability Action, which provides fitness opportunities for disabled people and has links with special school Humberston Park Academy, and was clearly marked with their brand.
Humberside Police are now investigating the theft of the lime green Scott mountain bike from the van parked in Cambridge Road, Cleethorpes, on Tuesday, between 5pm and 6.50pm.
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The thieves smashed a window on the driver's side, unlocked the door and helped themselves to the bike.
A police spokesman said: "An unknown person has entered a van parked at the side of the road and stolen a mountain bike.
"The bicycle is described as lime green, with 21 gears and maroon coloured handlebars."
Mr Charles said: "It was obvious that the van belongs to a charity and whoever took it just didn't care.
"It shows the state of society."
Mr Charles works for Disability Active, which gives disabled people the opportunity to keep fit in a comfortable environment.
"Disabled people have the ability to keep fit and healthy which makes them feel better in themselves and builds confidence, but a commercial gym environment can be too intimidating," he explained.
The charity uses the Fix'n'Kiks Studio and Martial Arts Centre in Cambridge Road as its base and is currently trying to raise £8,000 to build a studio with basketball hoops for users.
To raise money for this facility, Mr Charles set himself the challenge of swimming 2km, running 6km and then cycling 55km – a total of 63km at 63 years old – in less than six hours and 30 minutes.
He has been training hard and raised more than £1,000 in sponsorship, but the theft is a major setback.
"I have been training since Christmas and it has not been easy as I am no spring chicken, but I relished the challenge.
"I have had a number of injuries but it was starting to come together and I have been linking my runs, swims and cycles, which is why the bike was in the van – but it is only insured when it is at my home.
"Lots of people have sponsored me and I just don't want to let people down – both sponsors and the people who use the facilities."
Mr Charles used to run marathons and do triathlons but has not done so since his early 40s.
He has picked up and recovered from numerous injuries during training but fears that the loss of his bike may be an obstacle he cannot overcome.
If you want to contact Disability Active, call 01472 602888.
If you have information on the theft, call Humberside Police on 101 and quote crime reference 1912357.