THIS is the moment a thief stole a nine-year-old boy’s prized mountain bike from his garden, leaving him “absolutely devastated”.

Angry father David Nicholson of Balliol Close, Peterlee, has released CCTV footage of the crime in the hope of tracking down the culprit and his suspected accomplice - as well as the return of the bike 

Mr Nicholson, who is offering a reward for information, said the theft happened on Sunday night (May 8), but was only discovered the next morning.

The Northern Echo: Layton, nine, and his prized mountain bike Layton, nine, and his prized mountain bike

He said: “My son Layton is devastated. He doesn't feel safe as he used to and it's going to have a massive impact on him from overthinking it. He has started asking if he can have one of our dogs in his room with him at night.”

“I'm extremely angry about this. At the end of the day they've stolen a kid’s bike. It’s an amazingly low thing to do.”

He added: “We obviously thought we were quite secure with all the CCTV cameras and we have two rather large dogs - Japanese Akita and a Belgian Shepherd, but sadly they were inside the house at the time.

"At about 10pm on Sunday, the dogs went absolutely mental. They obviously knew someone was there, but the puppy often barks at the dogs next door so we did not take notice.

The Northern Echo: The suspected thief after he jumped over a 6ft fence to steal a boy's mountain bike The suspected thief after he jumped over a 6ft fence to steal a boy's mountain bike

“It wasn't till the next day after we took Layton to school that we come back and noticed his bike was gone.”

Mr Nicholson said he believed there were two people involved as the doorbell camera was activated by two people outside the property a couple of minutes before one of them jumps over the fence.

He said: “It was a silver and orange Scott Mountain Bike. We had only just got it out of the garage with the better weather coming.

The Northern Echo: Two men captured on the doorbell camera shortly before the theft in Peterlee Two men captured on the doorbell camera shortly before the theft in Peterlee

“It was Layton’s pride and joy. We bought it nine months ago to replace another one.

"My wife and I do a lot of mountain biking at Hamsterley Forest and places like that and it was bought for Layton so that he could join us."

Mr Nicholson said he had been given a couple of names anonymously and had handed the matter over to Durham Police.

A Durham Police spokesperson said: "Police were called to reports of the theft of a bike from the garden of an address on Balliol Close, Peterlee yesterday morning.

"The bike is believed to have been taken sometime overnight between Sunday (May 8) and Monday (May 9).

"Enquires are currently ongoing."

Anyone with information should contact Durham Police on 101.

The Northern Echo: CCTV of the suspected thief stealing a boy's mountain bike in Peterlee CCTV of the suspected thief stealing a boy's mountain bike in Peterlee

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