Northampton man slams 'low-life' for stealing 'sentimental' £900 Giant bike from busy town centre spot

"It was the last thing my dad helped me buy before he passed away"

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 7:31 am

A Northampton man has slammed the 'low-life' who stole his £900 bike which was the last thing his dad helped him to buy before dying.

Carl Wingrove, from Briar Hill, chained his and his partner's bike up with a 'thick linked' lock in St Peter's Way car park, just outside Argos, on Sunday (June 6).

However, when the couple came back to their bikes 20 minutes later after a quick trip to Wilkinson's, Carl's custom built, limited edition Giant bike was gone, with only his partner's bike and a cut lock left.

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Carl Wingrove

Carl, 48, said: "I was totally shocked and in disbelief when it wasn't there. I felt sick straight away, then anger starter to kick in while walking home after a search around the area.

"Unfortunately some low life person has come along with bolt cutters and cut through the chain.

"The bike's value was around £800 to £900 but the sentimental side is a lot more as it was the last thing my dad helped me buy before he passed away.

"I've owned it for eight years and rode it almost everywhere. Only people who own bikes will truly understand this, it's like bikes have feelings too. Every passionate cyclist talks to their bikes."

The stolen Giant bike

Carl was asked what measures he would like to see as a cyclist to prevent this from happening to others in the town.

He said: "I do think that the police and council CCTV operators should be doing more to prevent these bike crimes from happening.

"Maybe signs put up saying the area is at high risk of bike thefts and better locking stands, as the only way you can lock bikes up is by their wheels."

The car shop worker is now offering a £100 reward for information that leads to a successful arrest and conviction.

The thieves cut through the lock

He added: "I would just like to see my bike back with me."

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: "This happened in St Peter’s Way on Sunday, June 6, between 2.45pm and 3.15pm when the unknown offender/s cut the lock of a bike chained up in the area and stole it.

"Witnesses or anyone with info should contact us."

West Northamptonshire Council responded to Carl's request for more to be done to prevent this happening again.

Cllr David Smith, from WNC, said: “We have comprehensive CCTV covering large areas of Northampton town centre, which is there to ensure the safety and security of all of our residents.

“We can completely understand the upset this incident has caused Mr Wingrove and we are more than happy to do more in regard to helping cyclists."

The Chronicle and Echo asked what WNC is doing to protect cyclists and their bicycles in the town, as there has been a stronger push from the council over the pandemic to encourage people to bike more.

Cllr Smith said: "As an example, through planning we insist that businesses and workplaces provide good quality safe parking area and we’re sure there are future opportunities for cycle parking in regeneration projects, on top of those already in place.

“Also, our community safety and engagement team have been doing a great deal of work with Northants Police regarding crime prevention.

"We have supported 15 security bike marking events in the last 12 months; these have taken place in high footfall areas, including the town centre, our parks and open spaces, University of Northampton, shopping precincts and within our priority neighbourhoods.

“We are always looking for new ways to ensure cyclists’ interests are taken seriously and we will listen to and potentially act on any reasonable suggestions for improvement in the areas we’re responsible for.”

The councillor added that CCTV has been beneficial to Northampton over the years but it is not possible to have cameras everywhere.