4:00pm Friday 19th August 2011
By Damian Fantato
AN OXFORD family has been left furious after their six-year-old daughter’s bike was stolen the night before they went on holiday.
Then, when the Wests, who live in Buckingham Street, Grandpont, returned from France they found the mother’s bike had been taken as well.
Jacqui West, who is a teacher, said: “They need to think what they have done.
“It is a child’s bike and to take it is really callous. I put the bins out in the night and it was there. In the morning it wasn’t and the lock had been smashed.
“There were grown-ups’ bikes that weren’t taken so somebody obviously targeted a child’s bike.”
The bicycle belonging to their daughter Tabitha, an 18-inch girls’ BMX, which is white and has a bright pink saddle and spokes, was taken on August 5 between midnight and 8.30am.
Tabitha had been given the bike as a birthday present in April as her first “grown-up” bike.
As they left the house for their holiday in France she noticed that her bike wasn’t on the cycle mount in front of the house where she left it.
Mrs West said: “Tabitha is bitterly disappointed. It is hard for a six-year-old to understand there are nasty people in the world.
“She loved the bike and she was just getting to grips with learning to ride it.
“She was very quiet and then burst into tears.
The Wests, who have two children, will now shell out for a new bike since it was not covered by their insurance.
Mrs West said: “When we got back from holiday we were devastated to find that my bike had been stolen as well.”
Her bike, a silver ladies’ model with a black saddle and black wire basket, was chained to the railings in front of their house and was taken on August 13.
Earlier this month the Oxford Mail revealed that just four per cent of bike thefts in Oxford have been solved by the police.
Police said it was difficult to reunite bikes with owners, which affects the detection rates.
The Mail also revealed that cyclists are most likely to have their bikes stolen in St Clement’s and Summertown.
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said inquiries were continuing into the theft of the bikes.
Anyone with any information about the incidents is urged to contact the police on 08458 505505 or the anonymous Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.
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