Stolen archery gear ‘dangerous in wrong hands’

Martin Hancock has offered a reward. Picture: Scott Louden
Martin Hancock has offered a reward. Picture: Scott Louden
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AN archer has been left in limbo after a bow and arrows worth £3000 were stolen from the back of his car.

Thieves smashed the rear windscreen of Martin Hancock’s Honda Civic while it was parked outside his girlfriend’s home in North Fort Street, Newhaven, before making off with his custom-made archery equipment.

Mr Hancock said the apparatus was dangerous “in the wrong hands”.

The bespoke red compound bow – which uses cables and pulleys to bend its limbs – took American company Obsession Bows three months to make and ship over from Georgia.

It is the only one of its kind in the UK and it could take up to four months for a replacement to be made.

Mr Hancock, a member of the West Lothian Archers group, said: “I thought I would leave the gear in the car as it was in the boot and covered up so no-one could see it.

“But when I came to my car at 5.30am to go and do some practice shooting, I saw somebody had smashed the back window and gone into the boot to take everything.

“I think they had probably just been going round breaking into cars and I was unlucky.”

Mr Hancock, who has offered a financial reward for the return of the equipment, warned it could be dangerous if handled by amateurs as the bow can shoot arrows at more than 46 miles per hour and the shafts can pass through plated steel.

The loss of his equipment means he will be forced to sit out the Bannockburn Open competition on Saturday and then the Lasswade Indoor Open competition on October 12.

He said: “I was devastated as it is going to take months to replace everything. It’s very high-spec stuff as I have shot at international levels in the past.

“I have a spare bow but there are so many bits missing now.”

The 46-year-old has been competing in target archery tournaments since he was only 17, and he has previously achieved sixth position in the Scottish Archery Association’s national rankings.

Mr Hancock, who lives in Ayrshire and works in the Capital office of Antenna International – which provides audio guides for attractions such as Edinburgh Castle – also had a laptop computer and hard drive stolen.

A Police Scotland spokesman appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

He said: “Police Scotland can confirm that it is investigating a report that a black Honda Civic was broken into on North Fort Street. Inquiries are ongoing and anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area late at night on September 24 or early on September 25 is urged to contact Police Scotland on 101 or, alternatively, the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”