Belfast Telegraph

Penny farthing bicycle stolen

By Brendan McDaid

The owner of a penny farthing bicycle taken from a garden shed in Londonderry said he believes it may have been stolen to order.

Jim Temple was speaking after the ornamental family heirloom, known as ‘High Nelly’, was taken along with garden tools from his back yard.

The Derry man was asleep at his bungalow in Shaw’s Court, Ballymagroarty, when the thieves struck between Tuesday evening and 7.30am on Wednesday.

He said: “There was a lock on the shed and they managed to get the latch open without actually removing the lock.

“They also managed to unscrew a security bar right across the door and they took the bar with them.

“I keep my blue bin and the other bin in front of the door of the shed, and the only mistake they made was they left the blue bin around the side of the shed, otherwise I might not have noticed there was anything wrong if I’d had no reason to use the shed.”

Mr Temple said the penny farthing bike had been in his father’s family for decades and he remembered it as a boy.

In recent years he had left the bicycle in his front garden during the summer.

“I had been afraid about it being taken from there but it was never touched,” he said.

“I never thought it would be taken from the shed in the back yard.

“The people who did this probably saw it out the front at some point.”

A number of garden tools were also stolen, including a Flymo lawnmower, a power washer and a strimmer and hose.

“The rest of the equipment can be replaced but this can’t. They knew what they were doing; these things may have been stolen to order.

Anyone with any information on the old bicycle or garden equipment is asked to contact police at Strand Road station on 0845 600 8000 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Details of the robbery were released as police in the north west issued an appeal to all householders to be on the alert over thefts.

Guidelines have been issued to help people ensure their property is more secure.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: “With the longer evenings and brighter weather upon us, many people will be taking the opportunity to get outside into gardens and yards.

“Thieves have been known to look out for easy targets at this time of year — the person who has invested in expensive garden ornaments or who leaves their lawnmower out overnight. Even the person who leaves their garden shed unlocked. To the unscrupulous thief, these can present golden opportunities.”

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