Boy, 14, puts up reward after new bicycle is stolen in Portsmouth

FIGHTING BACK! Michael Benham O'Leary with one of the posters he has put up in a bid to get his stolen bike back.  Picture: Steve Reid (121121-277)
FIGHTING BACK! Michael Benham O'Leary with one of the posters he has put up in a bid to get his stolen bike back. Picture: Steve Reid (121121-277)
A CCTV image of the charity box thief

CCTV catches dopey charity box thief on camera

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TEENAGER Michael Benham O’Leary has put up a reward after thieves stole his new £400 bike.

The 14-year-old had locked up his Carrera Vulcan mountain bike in Lake Road, Landport, Portsmouth, when the crook struck.

When the teenager returned to collect it, the lock had been broken and his bike was gone.

Michael said: ‘I saved my birthday money and Christmas money up to buy it.

‘I’m annoyed. I paid a lot of money for it and I won’t be able to get another bike now. I just want it back.’

The bike was taken from outside Buckland Youth Activities Centre at the Charles Dickens Centre at 7pm on March 22.

It comes eight months after Michael’s previous bike was stolen from the garden of his home during a burglary at the property in Hewett Road, North End.

Now Michael, a Year 9 pupil at The City of Portsmouth Boys’ School, has produced posters offering a £50 reward for information leading to the safe return of his bike – and in the hope of tracking down the thief.

And he has posted details of his plight on social networking website Facebook in the hope of tracking down his distinctive black, white and green mountain bike.

The poster reads: ‘£50 reward for the recovery of my bike stolen on Thursday March 22 in Buckland area.

‘I saved hard for this Carrera Vulcan and would like any help that will get me my bike back.

‘Any information please ring 101. Thank you very much, Michael Benham O’Leary, aged 14 years.’

His mum Sophia, 37, said: ‘It’s not the first time we’ve been victims.

‘We hope the £50 reward will help us get the bike back.

‘It’s unfortunate that this has happened.

‘It angers me that people can do things like that so easily.

‘He worked hard to save up for that bike and now it’s gone – in seconds they’ve just taken it.

‘These people don’t care. It’s about making money – they don’t care about people’s feelings. Michael was really upset.’

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting crime reference number 44120114819.

Alternatively contact the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555111.