Popular rickshaw is stolen from outside street food takeaway

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A ‘UNIQUE’ item that is part of the identity of a popular Indian takeaway has been stolen.

Owners have said they believe the rickshaw, kept outside Paanchi Indian Street Kitchen, on Fratton Road, Portsmouth, was taken on Saturday about 2pm.

Shahriar Uddin.''Picture: Habibur Rahman

Shahriar Uddin.''Picture: Habibur Rahman

The three-wheeled passenger cart is worth £3,000 and has been used to promote the takeaway’s street food since it opened one year ago.

Shahriar Uddin, owner of the street food shop, has spent hours trawling the CCTV footage provided by local shops – including B’s Barbershop next door.

The 26-year-old said he has three witnesses to the theft and added: ‘It’s a unique rickshaw from India and there’s nothing like it in the Portsmouth area.

‘I’m really annoyed and disappointed it’s been stolen and we just want it back.

The rickshaw outside Paanchi takeaway on Fratton Road on the day it was opened. The passenger cart is usually parked in a bay outside the shop.

The rickshaw outside Paanchi takeaway on Fratton Road on the day it was opened. The passenger cart is usually parked in a bay outside the shop.

‘We are offering a reward for its return.

‘I’ve spent hours trawling CCTV from shops in the area, and at one point you can see a hire van pull up outside the shop.

‘One lady, who was stuck in traffic and saw what happened, said she saw two white males, both topless and with tattoos, putting the rickshaw into a van.’

Mr Uddin said after reviewing the CCTV footage, speaking to locals and following up replies to the takeaway’s pleas on Facebook, he believes the rickshaw was stolen just before 2pm.

He added: ‘The rickshaw is part of the identity of the takeaway and we use it for promotional services – locals love it.

‘It was always parked outside in a parking bay.

‘It’s not possible to ride it either, the bike chain was disconnected and there were locks protecting the wheels.

‘Police have said they can’t assist us unless we provide them with a registration number for the vehicle that was used to steal the rickshaw.

‘We’ve done everything we can in terms of publicising the theft on Facebook.’

A spokesman for Hampshire police said: ‘We received a report at 4.48pm on June 30 of a rickshaw bike having been stolen from outside Paanchi on Fratton Road.

‘The incident took place between 12pm and 4pm the same day.

‘Local neighbourhood officers have been informed of the incident and will review any potential further lines of enquiry.

‘If anyone witnessed the incident, or saw anything suspicious in the area at the time, please contact police on 101, quoting 44180244944.’