Man ‘told to investigate’ theft of his beloved bike himself

Russell Swallow of Clowne Landscape, presenting new bike to Richard Eckersall, who had his old one stolen.
Russell Swallow of Clowne Landscape, presenting new bike to Richard Eckersall, who had his old one stolen.

A man who had his beloved bike stolen by heartless thieves claims police told him to investigate the crime himself.

Richard Eckersall, 32, of Clowne, had his red Carrera mountain bike worth hundreds of pounds stolen on Friday, March 10.

The bicycle had sentimental value as it was the last gift bought for him by his grandfather Herbert before he passed away eight years ago.

“When I found out my bike had been stolen it was like somebody had ripped out my heart,” Richard said.

“I felt really upset.”

When Richard, who works at Dobbies garden centre in Barlborough and at McColl’s convenience store in Clowne, discovered his bike had been taken, he reported the incident to Derbyshire police.

“They said if I can start my own investigation then I should,” Richard said.

“They said ‘if you find out anything let us know and we will send somebody out in the next few days’.”

Richard said he put out an appeal on his Facebook page and a witness came forward within hours who said they saw somebody riding his bike.

He added: “I phoned the police about the witness and they said they would send somebody out to the witness’s house but they have not.”

Following the theft, the Clowne community has rallied to help Richard.

Clowne Landscape has donated a new bike to him, while Slumbers Pet Store in the town has donated a new helmet and The Angel Inn pub has collected money and other residents also chipped in.

A spokesman for Derbyshire police said: “An officer has been allocated to investigate this crime but we apologise that no-one has been to see Mr Eckersall yet.

“We understand that it is very upsetting to be a victim of crime but we have to prioritise investigations. Offences that involve personal injury or violence will always take precedence.”

Call police on 101 with any information, quoting reference 17000103201.