A TEN-year-old boy was left devastated after thieves stole his £5,000 motocross bike just hours before a major competition.
Mum Sandra McAdam travelled to Edinburgh with partner Neil from their home in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland, to watch son Charlie compete in the 3rd winter series Ecosse XC MX in Dunbar today.
After parking up for the night on Saturday outside the Premier Inn at Edinburgh A1 Musselburgh, the family returned to their van this morning to discover the £5,500 bike and helmet had been stolen.
The shocked family said they are in disbelief that someone could steal from a young schoolboy and are desperate to reunite Charlie with his beloved bike.
Sandra said: “We parked up around 5.30pm and then didn’t return to the van until the next morning.
“Charlie is absolutely devastated. We’re all so shocked and it’s terrible that he couldn’t race.
“The fact someone would contemplate stealing from a child is shocking.”
Sandra says Premier Inn has captured CCTV of two men pushing the bike out of the Premier Inn car park at around 10.30pm on Saturday.
The family are now appealing for the safe return of the bike on social media and are offering a £1,000 reward.
Sandra added: “If anyone has seen the bike, being used or on for sale sites, can you please come forward.
“We are offering a £1,000 reward so contact the police with any information.
“The bike is distinct with Charlie’s name and number on it. I just hope we can catch the people responsible for what they’ve done to us.
“The bike itself costs a lot of money and it is not easily replaced. He only got it in August.”
The family travelled over by ferry and stayed in Leith on Friday night before moving on to stay in the Premier Inn ahead of Sunday’s race.
Charlie is desperate to get his bike back due to him competing in British national competitions and is eager to still race in upcoming events.
Sandra said: “It is a child’s motocross bike and we just can’t believe someone would do this. They are absolute scum.
“It has been terrible with us being in tears over it.
“Everything else is still in the van which makes us think it may have been planned.
“We travel all across Britain supporting Charlie and nothing like this has ever happened before.
“It has ruined our trip to Edinburgh, which is a real shame.”
In the absence of his bike, Charlie sadly missed the chance to race today so the family decided to head home catching an earlier ferry from Stranraer.
“He just wanted to go home,” said Sandra. “He’s gutted and there’s nothing we can do apart from spread the word and hope someone has seen something.”
Anyone with any information about the bike is urged to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1160.
The Evening News has contacted Premier Inn for a comment.