Regular readers will know that the Holt Press Home has been the target of repeated bike thefts over recent months. First the 3 wheeler I bought at the garage sale disappeared and despite vigilant searches has never been seen again.
Then when we came home from the church camp a few weeks ago we were greeted with empty spaces where my racing bike and Mrs Holt-Press' mountain bike had formerly been.
Most recently Sport Boy suffered the agonizing theft of his new BMX bike the day after his birthday, this time from outside the rec centre while he was playing basketball.
All were reported to the police but despite phone calls seeking further info, nothing came of their investigations.
The final straw came this weekend when my mountain bike also disappeared. It is a big bike with front and rear carrying racks and a very high seat to accommodate my long legs. I use it to deliver the junk mail and get to work. Having no bikes left except Sport Boy's original bike, Favourite Daughter and I set out to investigate a lead of our own.
I had seen a couple of notorious kids hanging around the front of our place acting suspiciously around the time of the church camp and although I had given their names to the police, had heard nothing more. So I found out their address and FD and I drove round to their street and past the house a couple of times. Sure enough there was a bike that resembled mine laying in the caport, partially obscured by a car. FD got out and walked past the house for a closer look, which was made harder by the woman in the house coming out to the car-port while we were going past. FD confirmed she thought it was my bike so we drove around to the police station to report what we had found.
The officer took down the details and despatched a patrol car to go and check it out, promising to ring straight away if they found it.
While we were there I asked if we could have a look through the bike shed, which contains about 30 bikes that have been found or recovered but remain unclaimed by their owners.
To my surprise, hanging right inside the door was my racing bike, which had been found in late October. Even though I'd given them a detailed description of it at the time they hadn't matched it to my report. Never-the-less they were happy to return it to me then and there.
Score one for the good guys.
Then, further good news an hour later. The police called to say they had indeed located my bike at the address we'd given them and it was now at the station ready for me to collect!
Score two for the good guys!
Sadly there is still no sign of Sport Boy's bike but we keenly scan every bike we see a kid riding wherever we go. In fact, one such "investigation" ended in what could have been a very unfortunate incident.
A couple of weeks ago Mrs HP rang to say a kid riding a bike fitting the description of Sport Boy's was riding along our street and suggested I go and check it out.
Sure enough, I spotted a boy was riding a Khaki BMX very similar to the one we had stolen. I turned around in the school car park up the street and went back for another look however close inspection showed that the pedals were a different colour and the braking system was not the same, it wasn't Sport Boy's bike.
I pulled into our driveway and took one last look down the street, to see the kid facing me from the corner. He then yelled out "Get Lost!" and rode away!
I think he had mistaken me for someone with much more sinister motives!
I can just imagine him racing home and telling his Mum about the man in the blue car following him, and being able to point out where he lived!
A little misunderstanding can go a long way!
I can just see the story in the paper, "School Chaplain stalks boy on bike"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thankfully we haven't had a visit from an angry parent, or the police!