Anger as memorial to cyclist Gavin Moore stolen
Grieving family urge yobs to give tribute back
The brother of a cyclist killed on the roads has spoken of his shock after a bicycle placed at the scene in his memory was stolen.
Father-of-two Gavin Moore, a member of North Down Cycling Club, died after he was involved in a collision with a car on the Newtownards to Bangor dual carriageway last July.
In a poignant tribute to the 40-year-old, his family secured a bicycle painted black and pink - the club colours - at the spot where he died, but at some point yesterday it was ripped away from the fence.
Mr Moore's brother Neale appealed for those who stole the memorial to give it back.
He also asked the public to be on the lookout for it.
He said: "It is obvious that this bike was a memorial to someone who lost their life and was not a bike that had been abandoned, so whoever stole it knew rightly what they were doing.
"I had secured it well to the fence, but it was ripped away with considerable force.
"We know the bicycle was taken some time on Sunday, because I live just five minutes away and I saw it there on Saturday.
"My wife noticed it missing and came home in tears." He added: "It was my dad who painted the bike in the first place, he poured his heart and soul into it.
"It helped him cope with Gavin's death and to see the hurt and pain on his face when I told him it had been stolen was so hard."
Mr Moore said that losing Gavin had been tough on the whole family, but especially on his partner Joanne and their children, who are facing their first Christmas without him.
He said: "We didn't need any more pain, but whoever took the bike is causing us so much heartache.
"If they have a conscience at all or an ounce of remorse in them, they should return the bike to us or leave it somewhere where we can find it and put it back where it belongs."
Mr Moore posted the theft on his Facebook page, along with a picture asking the public to be on the lookout.
Within hours more than 2,000 people had shared his post, and two people said they had seen two youths with the bike.
Mr Moore added: "The reaction from the public has been so good and people have come back to say they saw the bike and reported it to the police so they could look out for it.
"Hopefully it won't be long before we get the bike returned to us and we can put it back where it belongs."