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Stansted dad's Christmas present mountain bikes for his sons are stolen

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Thieves stole brand new bicycles intended as Christmas presents for two young boys in Stansted.

Dad Karl Grotchen bought the pair of Decathlon Rock Rider mountain bikes, one grey and one yellow, for his sons Luis, 13, and Joshua, 11. He padlocked them together and put them in a secure brick-built bike store behind where he lives in Reeve Road on the Forest Hall Park estate ready for Christmas Day.

But when he returned home from work on Friday December 11, he discovered the doors wide open and the bikes, worth a total of £360, gone.

Karl has since replaced them, but along with the boys' mum and his former partner, Jennie Brown, he has appealed via social media for people to be on the lookout for them on selling websites or around the village.

Speaking to the Indie, Karl said: "I'd only just bought them for my two eldest sons for Christmas. I contacted police straight away and my housing association have acted very quickly to improve security.

"But you wouldn't assume it's a bike shed and lots of people have said the culprits must have seen me putting the bikes in there."

He added: "So many people have shared this on Facebook, prompting reports of possible sightings in the village. But I've had to reorder them as that's what the boys asked for and were expecting, but I won't be keeping them here."

Mum Jennie, who lives with the boys and their three-week old baby brother, Jack, in Saffron Walden, said they had to explain to Luis and Joshua what had happened. Joshua had also had his old bike stolen during half term after leaving it outside their house.

"It's unbelieveable really, it's horrid. Karl has had to order them new ones using his last bit of savings," she said.

"We just wanted to let people know that there are people out there at this time of year stealing. We've all had a tough year, we're all struggling, but it doesn't justify taking from somebody else."

Anyone with information about the bikes should call Essex police on 101 quoting crime ref. 42/202994/20.

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