Anti-crime man is target of theft

By Laura Payne 09/03 Updated: 13/03 13:07

Buy photos » Keen biker Paddy Tyson next to the lamppost where he used to chain up his bike. Picture by Jon Mullis 10.012.040.rug.jm1 (

IN A CRUEL twist of fate a motorcyclist who campaigns for action against motorcycle theft had his own bike stolen from outside his Rugby home.

Paddy Tyson is the campaigns manager for the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), and works across the country calling for more to be done to combat motorcycle theft, which their statistics show accounts for 25 per cent of all vehicle crime. Police this week said Rugby was a motorbike theft hotspot.

Mr Tyson left his bike - a Suzuki GSF 1250 - chained to a lamppost, alarmed and with the steering lock on outside his house in Bilton.

Ironically, on the day of the theft he had attended a meeting of the national Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group, which included officials from the Police Stolen Vehicles Unit, to discuss theft prevention.

He decided not to put his bike in the garage as it had been broken into a number of times, but as a result it means the theft, which happened in the evening, is not covered by his insurance.

Mr Tyson told the Observer: "I couldn't believe it. The one thing which pops into your head is did I leave it somewhere else. I feel incredibly helpless.

"What makes me particularly angry is that some thieves think this is a victimless crime and that insurance will pick up the tab. In this case they have refused to because I can't give them the exact time of theft.

"My bike is my transport as I campaign for the rights of all motorcyclists and now that work is being severely curtailed.

"As with all MAG members, I'm in a position to offer a £1,000 reward for info leading to conviction, but that doesn't get me back on the road."

Even though Mr Tyson reported the crime straight away, he does not believe there is much chance of getting his bike back.

"I want to highlight the number of motorcycle thefts. Bikes are sold on, torched or the parts are taken apart, he added.

"You can buy frames and they take parts from the bike and put it together and then it's untraceable. It's a very organised system."

Between June and February 90 bikes were stolen from across Warwickshire, a rise of 20 on the same period 12 months earlier.

Paul Judson, Local Policing Inspector for Rugby, said there was a problem with motorcycle theft in the town and the force was working to highlight the issue with dealers and repairers.

He said: "We have had some reports of suspicious vans being seen at the scene of motorcycle thefts and it is believed that offenders may be actually carrying locked motorcycles away and loading them into vans to transport away.

"Wherever possible motorcycle owners should consider locking their vehicles to ground anchors or appropriate fixed objects such as cycle stands."

Buy photos» Happier times - Paddy Tyson with his bike which was stolen. (s)

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