A FORMER British champion cyclist had his £6,000 racing bike stolen when burglars struck in his Severnside village.
David Rand, who beat the likes of Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman to the national road race title in 1996, lost nearly £10,000 of property when thieves broke into locked sheds in Newnham on Severn at the start of the month.
And burglars were back again in the village last week when they raided a neighbour’s shed, stealing two bikes worth nearly £5,000.
This time a resident spotted three men through their bedroom window breaking into the shed in Kingsmead just before 3.30am last Thursday (July 20).
Police were called and traced the suspects as far as the village church, but were unable to apprehend anyone.
The earlier night-time raid on Mr Rand’s home is the second time in 18 months that the father-of-two has suffered a break-in.
Burglars struck last year at a property he is developing on Manson Lane in Monmouth and stole around £8,000 worth of machinery and tools.
“This time they broke the lock off the sheds and took my £6,000 Scott bike, two Specialised mountain bikes, a bush cutter, a chainsaw and a strimmer, so we’re looking at nearly £20,000 of property stolen in both break-ins,” said the former road race ace, who shares the honour of winning the British title with the likes of cycling superstars Sir Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas.
“The national road race title in Abergavenny when I was 22 was my biggest success and I lived in France racing for a couple of years, did the Tour de l’Avenir and rode in the 1998 Commonwealth Games for Wales in Malaysia,” he added..
“I haven’t raced for many years since competing professionally in my 20s for the likes of Team Energy, but my Scott bike was one luxury I wouldn’t let go of.
“Now my neighbour on the other side of the road has also been targeted, so it seems like they are going for people with bike racks on cars.
“I’ve heard that there have been a few break-ins in the village over the last few weeks, and the local school sent out a note warning parents to be vigilant.
“It seems like the burglars were pretty brazen about it last week, as if they didn’t care if anyone saw them.
“A resident spotted them and called police who tracked them as far as the church, but they got away. They must have had a van or something.”
The break-in at Mr Rand’s home on the opposite side of the road happened between 10pm and 6.15am on Saturday to Sunday, July 1 to 2.
Police have now appealed for information following last week’s raid, when three men wearing hoodies were seen breaking into the neighbour’s shed and taking two bikes shortly before 3.30am.
The bikes are decribed as a black and red Cube racing bike and an orange mountain bike with the words “dial a bike” written on it.
The offenders turned left onto Littledean Lane past a row of bungalows and were described as white males, two wearing dark hoodies and the third wearing a grey hoodie.