A teenage boy is devastated after a thief stole his £300 bike - while he was being treated for a broken leg and ankle.
Charlie Swindlehurst of Fir Trees Avenue, Ribbleton, sustained the injuries after falling off a scooter at the recently-opened Moor Park skate park.
While waiting for almost an hour in agony for an ambulance, his unattended Mongoose BMX stunt bike was stolen - the second theft of its kind since the site opened a month ago. Mum Jenny Swindlehurst, 30, said: “I knew it had happened when we were in the ambulance, but I didn’t tell him until afterwards because I knew he’d be so upset.”
Ms Swindlehurst raced to the skate park after receiving a panicked phonecall at 6.15pm on Monday, saying a bone had “popped through” Charlie’s left leg.
She said: “It took about an hour for the ambulance to arrive, and Charlie was in a massive amount of pain. A lot of the kids there were trying to help him, but when I looked round to get Charlie’s bike, one of them had taken it.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s kicking the poor lad when he’s literally on the ground.
It’s unbelievable, it’s kicking the poor lad when he’s literally on the ground
“It was an expensive gift from me to him and he was never off it, he’s devastated.”
The theft has been reported to the police, but officers have not managed to trace the stolen bike. Charlie is now waiting to undergo a second operation on his broken leg, and is unable to attend lessons at Longridge High School. Doctors have told him he might be in a plaster cast for months.
The skate park, which cost £320,000, was officially opened on September 16. Since then, the North West Ambulance Service have been called twice to serious injuries.
Ms Swindlehurst has hit out at a lack of lighting at the site and urged users to wear safety equipment.
She said: “There’s nothing for the kids around here, so this has become really popular.
“But it’s not lit at night and I have heard of a lot of accidents since it’s opened. Something needs to be done about safety, and the kids need to start wearing safety equipment.”
A spokesman for Preston Council said: “We are aware of two recent bike thefts at the skate park, which were reported to Lancashire Police.
“The regular monitoring of the site will be done by parks staff, together with the Neighbourhood Policing Team.
“Work is planned for improved cycle parking facilities for users of the skate park. Safety notices are displayed at the site but it is a ‘use at your own risk’ facility. We do strongly encourage users to wear appropriate safety gear and to only skate and ride within their own abilities.
“It is unfortunate that these incidents have occurred and a few people are not respecting the facility that is provided for the whole community.”
Anyone with any information about what happened can call police on 101 quoting crime reference SA1511721.