A STONEHAVEN dad is warning cyclists to lock up their bikes after his four-year- old son’s bike was stolen from outside the Stonehaven outdoor pool.
Chris O’Neill, his wife and their three sons; Danny 6, Joseph 4 and Michael 3, were visiting the pool on Sunday afternoon after cycling there from home when Joseph’s bike was stolen.
Chris said: “My family and I are keen cyclists and with my three sons we cycled as a family to the play park on Sunday afternoon and then went for a swim in the open air pool. We’re very safety conscious and always secure our bikes when we’re away from them. With only two padlocks and three bikes, Michael is still on a seat on the back of my bike, a momentary slip of concentration meant that I only secured two of the bikes outside the swimming pool. It was only on leaving the pool at approximately 4pm did I realise my mistake and discovered that our four-year-old son Joseph’s bike had been stolen.”
The family then searched the surrounding area for Joseph’s bike and eventually found it at around 4:45pm approximately half a mile away from the swimming pool. Joseph was relieved to have found his “pride and joy,” however the bike had been damaged.
The saddle of the bike had been slashed and the stuffing had been scattered.
The bike, a red Apollo Urchin with a smiley face on the side, was stolen between 1:15pm and 4pm while the family were swimming in the pool.
Chris has expressed his concern for other children’s bikes, he said: “There are loads of kids who leave their bikes unsecured at/around the pool/park/leisure centre area so this serves as a warning to all.
“Stonehaven is not as safe as we might think and there are people out there who are capable of stealing a 4-year-old’s bike, vandalising it and then abandoning it. Please be aware and lock up your unattended bikes.”
This is just the latest in a series incidents in this area of Stonehaven, with complaints last week of vandals knocking over litter bins and verbally abusing residents in and around the skatepark.