£500 reward to find stolen e-bike used in charity cycle for blood cancer patients - after it was cut from lock in Edinburgh street in broad daylight

A £500 reward is being offered to find a stolen electric bike which was used in a charity cycle in aid of blood cancer patients - after it was cut from its lock by a brazen thief in broad daylight in a busy Edinburgh street.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 11:14 am

Stuart Walker was working inside The Ranch In the Toon barbecue and burger restaurant in Barclay Place, Bruntsfield, on Wednesday afternoon when the suspect was seen by several witnesses using a tool - possibly an angle grinder - to cut the bike from a fence bordering the neighbouring Barclay Viewforth Church of Scotland.

Video footage taken outside a nearby restaurant shows a man cycling off on the e-bike at around 1.45pm.

Devastated Stuart, 39, said he was told the padlock was “unbreakable” when he bought the e-bike. He told the Edinburgh Evening News: “The fact they can angle grind that off in the middle of the afternoon, when the sun is out and it’s busy, and people are walking about and sitting outside the restaurant opposite, it’s pretty shocking.”

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Stuart Walker with his friend Ondina, who did the Majorca to Leicester charity bike ride with him. Footage shows the suspect on the e-bike (left). Pictures: supplied

Stuart bought the e-bike for a 2,200 kilometre charity cycle from Majorca to Leicester a few years ago which raised more than £5,400 for the charity A Gift to Lift, which provides wishes to blood cancer patients as a ‘pick me up’ during harsh treatment. In the short term, the charity provides outings such as a memorable meal out, a spa day or a trip to the zoo, and long term the aim is to buy a house for families to spend valuable time in free of charge.

Stuart became involved with the Leicester-based charity after his older brother, Robert, fell from a horse in an accident seven years ago which left him paralysed from the neck down and needing 24 hour care. He decided to volunteer with A Gift to Lift to give something back and knew a friend of the person who runs the charity.

The cyclist is also preparing to run the Great North Run in September to raise money for Parkinson’s UK, after his mother was diagnosed with the illness. In 2019, he ran the event in full snowboard gear in aid of a boy he taught to snowboard who was battling leukemia, helping to raise money for a hospital in Newcastle.

He hopes that someone who may have seen his stolen e-bike, a Husqvarna Light Cross 4, will come forward with information that could lead to its return.

Husqvarna Light Cross 4 e-bike.

Barman and waiter Stuart said the e-bike, which can be bought for about £3,300, had been padlocked and inside the church grounds at the time it was stolen, with the lock exposed on the pavement side of the fence.

He said: “It would be unreal to get the bike back. It’s my day off hobby and daily commute bike.

“The whole experience of doing the charity bike ride is one of the best things I have done and you get that reminder when cycling it, and when people ask about the bike you can always tell them that story. It’s been good for spreading the word about the charity, outside of Leicester.”

The Ranch In the Toon is a sister restaurant of The Torfin restaurant in Corstorphine’s St John’s Road. Stuart lives close to The Torfin and the bike is his primary mode of transport. Fortunately, a friend has since lent him another bike for commuting.

The Torfin has also shared a Facebook post which states the team will be offering a £500 reward to get the bike back to its owner. The post also says that the e-bike is worthless without its keys.

Anyone with information should email [email protected] or contact police on 101.

Stuart has only been living in Edinburgh for a few weeks. He previously worked at a restaurant called The Grill House in Majorca which is run by the same owners of The Torphin and The Ranch. He also worked the ski season in Austria at another restaurant during winter.

More details about his charity bike ride and charity runs can be found on his Insta @stupidstu18

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