A MOTORBIKE instructor watched helplessly as a hooded teenager snatched a pupil’s bike during a lesson and sped off along a busy road.
Andy Broadley was teaching two learners near Cameron Toll when the trio hopped off their bikes to inspect a junction – leaving the vehicles parked less than 30 metres away.
In the blink of an eye, a masked thief “came from nowhere” and stole one of the bikes – worth thousands of pounds – before making off at speeds of up to 70mph and ignoring a red light on Dalkeith Road.
Andy, who works for Two Wheels Motorcycles, said the bikes had only been left for a minute before one was swiped – as motorbike crime continues to plague the Capital.
He said: “He just got on the bike and was driving at about 70mph. He came from nowhere.
“I wasn’t going to chase him, he was just a little boy, he was tiny.”
Following the incident, which took place last Wednesday morning, police have charged a 17-year-old boy in connection with the theft of a motorbike from the Cameron Toll area.
Andy said: “We had just come out of Two Wheels when one of my riders made a mistake. We stopped so I could debrief him on the road markings and go over it again.
“But when we got off the bikes, one of the riders didn’t take the keys out the ignition.
“We looked back about a minute later to see someone on it.”
Andy is hopeful the driving school will get the red Honda NC750S back.
He said: “Hopefully we get the bike back, but what is worrying is the speed these youths are driving at. It is really dangerous.
“If I could give motorbike owners any advice it would be to always take your keys out the bike and put the steering lock on, even if you’re only leaving it for two minutes.”
Last week, the News reported how residents living in Pilton and Muirhouse were too scared to leave their homes in fear of being run over by rogue teenagers riding stolen motorbikes.
One man said he had been forced to move elsewhere in the city, while another said any time he leaves his doorstep he takes a baseball bat with him for protection.
A mum-of-two also revealed her children were too scared to go outside and play.
Local Conservative councillor Nick Cook said: “I’m troubled to hear of this incident in Cameron Toll, while it is positive that the police have made progress with their inquiries. Motorbike theft across the city is becoming a worrying trend.”
He added: “I would encourage anyone who knows anything that could assist the police with their inquiries to come forward.”
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Police in Edinburgh have charged a 17-year-old male in connection with a theft of a motorbike from Cameron Toll.
“He is scheduled to appear before Edinburgh Sheriff Court.”