Cosham schoolgirl Karen Threader was about to turn 11 – but a thief made sure her birthday was ruined before it even started.
Karen’s heart was set on a bike and her parents, of Hawthorn Crescent, Cosham, gave her a golden-bronze machine a week early.
But their excitement turned to disappointment when the cycle was stolen five days before Karen’s great day.
Karen’s father, a fireman with Portsmouth City Fire Brigade, told The News he had taught Karen how to lock up the cycle with a chain and padlock.
He said: ‘Each evening we took the cycle upstairs to our flat, but on the night it went missing, Karen left it unlocked downstairs.’