TWO promising young motocross riders have been left spinning their wheels after callous crooks made off with their bikes and riding kit in a raid worth £30,000.
Leading Scottish Youth Motocross juniors Fraser Pohlen, 15, and Andrew Pohlen, ten, lying first and second respectively in their categories, had been due to take part in the latest round of competition in Cumbria over the weekend.
However, their championship dreams lie in ruins after their racing gear was stolen between 9.30pm on Tuesday, September 4 and 8.10am on Thursday, September 6 from a garage beside their home at Pardovan Holdings in Philpstoun near Linlithgow.
Dad Christopher Pohlen, 47, discovered the theft of four motorcycles and riding kit worth £16,000 and immediately alerted police.
A number of Airsoft imitation firearm rifles and several cameras with an estimated worth of £14,000 were also taken.
The landscape gardener said: “It’s heartbreaking for the boys. Both love the sport and each are in with a shout of winning the championship.
“I went out to the garage on Thursday and found that the metal door had been forced in. The crowbar they used was left inside. Where we are living is in the middle of nowhere so we would have seen someone hanging about. I didn’t hear or see anything suspicious.
“To cart off all the stuff they must have used a lorry or van. A pushbike of mine was also lined up at the door like it was ready to be taken, but maybe they had filled their van by then.
“My Canon camera, worth £8000, which I used to take photographs of the boys during competitions, was also stolen. It’s unsettling to know you’ve been targeted in such a way. I just hope someone saw something that can help us get the bikes back.”
The stolen bikes comprise two KTM 265cc models, a KTM 150cc and a KTM 125cc and are orange and white in colour. They had the numbers 111, 66 and 166 written along the sides
A police spokesman said: “The victim has been left devastated and we are keen to hear from anyone who remembers seeing anything suspicious in the area between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning.
“We are carrying out local inquiries to trace the stolen goods and identify those responsible and will check with local second-hand and specialist retailers to see if any of these items have been offered. While the stolen Airsoft weapons are not real firearms, they are designed to look authentic and may cause fear and alarm if utilised outside a designated Airsoft gaming area.”
Anyone with any information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131-311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.