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War veteran in final appeal over children's bikes stolen from North Hykeham

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: February 15, 2013

Upset: From left, Paul, Joe, Mellissa and Emily Bolton. Picture: Anna Draper

Comments (10)

A dad is offering a reward to anyone who returns his children's stolen bikes after being targeted twice in two months.

Former RAF squadron leader Paul Bolton – who earned medals for operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan – has had more than £2,000 worth of cycles stolen from the garage of his North Hykeham home.

But in a last-ditch effort, he is hoping an offer of £200 may encourage someone to come forward.

In the last incident, thieves forced their way through three door locks before hauling three bikes from the wall they were secured to.

Mr Bolton, 45, said his own "completely wrecked" cycle had been recovered, but the family had given up their mountain biking passion for fear they would be robbed again.

He said: "We're all devastated.

"The police have said we should seriously consider whether we keep bikes here anymore as they will just come back.

"I was angry initially, but I'm just resigned to the fact that's the end of my cycling career.

"I've done it my entire life and I was hoping to get back into doing it competitively.

"I've also been going out with my kids most weekends – it's something I really loved.

"I haven't driven to work for about ten or 12 years, so they've taken my way of getting to work and we've lost our hobby."

Three bikes were taken from Mr Bolton's house in Belton Park Drive early on Thursday, January 7.

Thieves stole his one-week-old £1,250 cycle and his children's two Christmas presents, worth a total of £800.

It came after the flying instructor's £450 bike was taken in mid-December.

Mr Bolton, who now works as a civilian at RAF Waddington, has to spend two hours walking every day just to get to work.

And he is also stepping down from a charity cycling and canoeing challenge this summer.

He said: "My kids feel violated that someone would come in and take their things.

"They use them every day, so they are stuck now and are missing that independence.

"And it's a loss of faith for them – they're questioning the point of working for something if someone is just going to come in and take it.

"They are doing well at school and studying hard, but they are thinking 'what's the point?'.

"It's sad to see."

It is thought a crowbar was used to rip open the door in the second theft and a screw driver also used to force an attachment from the wall.

A bike lock was soon found in the nearby Fen Lane Park before police recovered Mr Bolton's ruined mountain bike a few days later.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

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  • Lincoln_Jock  |  February 22 2013, 11:35AM

    Really! Lowlife invade and damage your property and the first thought is "well you shouldn't be flashing off your valuable goods". It beggars belief the jealousy and pettiness of some people. You work hard, earn a living, and spend money on something you enjoy and then have it ruined because some (insert your own expletive) decides that they are going to have it.

  • Bolshie  |  February 15 2013, 3:35PM

    The police are a bit busy - paperwork, supervising volunteers, organising dog walkers into an amatuer hour spy network, paperwork to diarise all that stuff to provide data for assurance they are doing their jobs and to justify next year's funding..... I'd suggest writing to our beloved PCC to see what he intends to do about it - but I've tried that and 9 weeks on the silence is profound - whatever happened to the 'communication is king' message he peddled in his election campaign. As I recall he told a story of how he was 'bullied' into ignoring Saville's abuses at the BBC - so I don't know why I'm surprised he ignores me when I ask simple questions about the everyday public protection we should be able to expect our police service to deliver; I imagine he has no idea what I'm talking about!! Last 3 times I criticised the PCC on here the post lasted only a few minutes before his staff 'reported' it and the site operators pulled it down - maybe they're all at happy hour now having knocked off for the weekend so this one might last a little longer.

  • gsx1100  |  February 15 2013, 3:14PM

    Now let me try to get my head round your logic, OldLincolnia. If someone has something nice whether it be a bike, car or whatever and they use it in public, are they flaunting it? Does that make the owner partly to blame if it gets stolen?, because that what your post implies to me. I put "cycle theft in Holland" into my search engine and learnt there are around 18 million cycles in Holland, 150,000 reported cycle thefts annually with Amsterdam alone,having over 200 stolen daily. You can pick up a "reasonable" bike for 100-200 Euros (£87-£218) or a cheaper one off the junkies, which will have been stolen. The Dutch do ride old bikes for daily use because of the high theft rate, but keep their best ones locked away during the week. Isn't that what Mr. Bolton did?

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  • raleigh  |  February 15 2013, 2:03PM

    Wow well done The Echo, twice in a row I have been trying to comment on OldLincolnia's view of the world but it has been deleted. I see that turning criminals into victims is more important than defending the right to buy whatever you want without deserving to have it stolen.

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  • raleigh  |  February 15 2013, 1:55PM

    Well done OldLincolnia. What a s....d comment.

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  • raleigh  |  February 15 2013, 1:53PM

    What an idiotic and narrow minded comment from OldLincolnia. People who need to ride at a certain level need to buy the right bike but I guess this is a simple concept your socialist mind cannot grasp. You end up defending the criminals involved as well, well done you.

  • Phil1W  |  February 15 2013, 1:35PM

    I don't know why my first comment isn't showing at the moment but just another thought. A description of the bikes would be useful if anyone is going to keep an eye out for them!

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  • Phil1W  |  February 15 2013, 1:29PM

    "The police have said we should seriously consider whether we keep bikes here anymore as they will just come back." Modern day policing? Tell people not to buy nice things then when the thieving little ******s come along to steal your property you don't have anything for them to steal. Then there is less recorded crime and the police take all the praise for it. Meanwhile you sit at home looking at your bank statements showing all your hard earned money stuck in the bank nice and safe and your four walls?

  • timfreeman78  |  February 15 2013, 12:48PM

    I paid less than £150 for my bike 9 years ago, I use it every day come rain or shine for a 15 mile round trip commute to work. I have only ever replaced the brake shoes and tyres once due to wear and tear. An absolute bargain.

  • OldLincolnia  |  February 15 2013, 12:21PM

    We need to learn from Holland, where bike thefts are almost unknown. But then, they buy sensible bikes bought for sensible prices. Flaunting your wares is an advert some cannot resist.

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