A Blackpool boy was allegedly assaulted and robbed of his first proper bicycle while riding in Stanley Park.
Joshua Walker, 12, was riding his bike in the park with a friend at around 4pm on Tuesday when it is said he was pushed to the ground by a group of older children, who made off with his £340 black and green Carerra Hellcat bike, which had been a Christmas present.
His dad Liam Woodward, 32, of Chesterfield Road, said: “It’s his first decent bike that he has had. It was the only thing he asked for for Christmas. It was his main present this year.
“We are very unhappy. You can replace a bike, but it’s the fact that some older child has put his hands on our child that has angered us the most, and not just one but four or five of them. He’s just 12-years-old. It’s ridiculous.”
Police confirmed they were called just after 5pm on Tuesday to reports of a theft of a bicycle near the clock tower (inset) at Stanley Park, off West Park Drive.
Following the incident, Joshua went to his uncle’s house nearby, who called Liam and told him what had happened.
“It couldn’t have happened at a worse time because we were all at my daughter’s birthday party, so we had to pack up and come home and call the police,” Liam said.
“I went to the park afterwards and spoke to a few lads and they said they saw the same bike riding towards the health centre, so I’m hoping they will have got it on CCTV.”
Liam said his son thought the group of children - four boys and two girls - were around 16 or 17-years-old.
An online appeal by Liam to find his son’s stolen bike has been shared more than 800 times on Facebook. Liam said: “Joshua is a typical teen who doesn’t like to show his emotions, but I think he will be gutted deep down.”
Blackpool police were approached for comment.
Do you know anything about this incident? Call police on 101 quoting the crime reference number LC-201901080928, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.