Thief escapes along London to Cambridge railway line on quad bike he stole from sheep farmer
An injured sheep farmer chased a thief who stole his quad bike – then watched in horror as he sped off along the main London to Cambridge railway line.
Wayne Parker, 32, had just spent an afternoon moving his flock from Elsenham’s North Hall Road to a field near Quendon Hall, Quendon, when a man leapt onto the bike as he got off to close a gate.
“As he took the bike he rammed me up against the back of my pick-up truck, damaging my ribs and cutting my legs," said Wayne.
"I managed to chase after him into a field and kept driving around, but couldn’t see him and so retraced my steps on foot and saw the wire fence cut. He'd cut the wire to get onto the track and I realised then that he'd gone along the railway line.
“I drove my truck along the road, following him along the line to Newport, and then found the quad bike dumped in trees – he'd done a runner.”
Mr Parker called 999 immediately after the theft but was told it was not an emergency. “Essex Police told me it wasn't a blue-light matter and still haven't been to see me or spoken to me. It's absolutely appalling. This was pretty much a robbery – what if he'd had a gun? I was injured and was in pursuit of the bike!"
Mr Parker, who lives in Newmarket but uses fields around Uttlesford for his sheep, went to hospital for precautionary checks. The damaged quad bike was recovered.
The thief is described as aged 19-20, about 5ft 6in tall, with black hair. He wore a dark blue tracksuit top, blue jeans and trainers.
An Essex Police spokesman said that they were called at around 2.50pm on Wednesday January 22.
"Our officers were dealing with a number of emergency calls at the time. These included a missing teenager and human remains had been found on land in Sudbury.
"Following an assessment based on threat, harm and risk, and the fact the suspect had fled, a decision was made that the incident did not require an immediate police response.
"We then received further information that the victim had spotted the suspect riding the vehicle on or near railway lines. We immediately flagged this information with British Transport Police and the victim was given advice not to pursue or approach the suspect. Unfortunately, the victim approached the suspect and was injured after colliding with the quad bike."
Anyone with information is asked to call Braintree CID on 101, quoting crime 42/11900/20, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.