Anger at £1k bike theft

George Higham, 17, with father Jimmy and (below) the bike that was stolen
George Higham, 17, with father Jimmy and (below) the bike that was stolen

A STUDENT who had a £1,000 bike stolen from a campus in the town centre is appealing for information to help the police catch those responsible.

George Higham, 17, left his classes at Wigan and Leigh College to find the Rockhopper cycle, which his parents had bought as a present for his GCSE exam results, had disappeared.

The Rockhopper bike

The Rockhopper bike

The offenders removed the bicycle from the Parson’s Walk campus on Wednesday, January 15,

His father Jimmy, from Platt Bridge, is now demanding action from the police to try and trace the thieves and criticised the slow progress of the investigation.

Mr Higham, 40, said: “It’s an expensive bicycle with sentimental value and I’m very annoyed at what has happened.

“I was told by the college they had CCTV footage of the person stealing it and I told this to the police the day after, but when I went back to the station last week there was only a note to collect it. We just feel like we’re being ignored.

“The lock cost £40 and they’ve got through it with what looks to me like an angle grinder. George is now worried about riding to college on another bike in case that gets stolen as well.”

However, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the force was looking into the theft and said recovery of CCTV footage is often hindered by a number of technical issues including problems downloading and transferring the data.

A police spokesman said: “We would like to reassure Mr Higham that we are dealing with this incident. Our records say the CCTV does show the offenders, and the officer has been to the college.”

GMP also said an officer would be visiting the college to speak to staff and students about crime prevention.

Wigan and Leigh College confirmed the CCTV footage had now been collected.

A spokesman said: “The college endeavours to provide a safe and secure environment for students to leave personal belongings, including bicycles.

“We very much regret that on this occasion a student’s cycle was stolen.”

Anyone with information about the theft should ring GMP on the non-emergency number 101 or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.