So, bit of a long winded rant, so do accept my apologies.
Let's set the scene. It's Monday March the 4th, around 12.30. It's my day off. My wife has gone to work that morning, she's not due back for 3 days. I'm sat in my front room, blinds down watching trash on YouTube, the dogs are asleep, and it's looking like it's gonna be a nice relaxing day.
There's been some banging noises outside, but it's been like that for a day or so, because my motorbike is out there, and the cover on it has been catching the wind,making some pretty loud snapping noises.
Suddenly though I hear something much louder, a snapping that sounds more like metal giving way. Followed quickly by the sound of a bike being taken off the centre stand. I run outside, hearing a loud crunch as I come out of the door.
At the bottom of my drive, running towards a young lad on a black motorbike, are two other lads, hoods up, faces covered. To the right of me, my motorbike, on its side. One of the lads yells something at me, I didn't catch what, just the vague impression it was insulting. They ride off towards the field at the top of my road. I grab my phone, ring the police, tell them some lads have just tried to steal my motorbike. I give them descriptions, where they're heading, and go to check my bike. I don't pick it up at first, in case there's fingerprints. From what I can see, the front mudguard is cracked, the fairing will have take damage from where it's been dropped too. The steering lock has been broken, the barrel where the key goes is out of alignment, but at least I still have the bike.
I run inside, grab a hoody and my bike documents in case the police need to see anything (nothing like this as happened to me before, so im unsure of any processes) and I settle in on my front step to wait for the police. I also message my wife to tell her what's happened. She rings shortly after to get further details. After letting her know what's happened, she tells me she's arranging to come home.
I wait outside for an hour, every time I hear a police siren i think "this is it, they're on their way to see me". No. I eventually move the bike to the back of the house, a job that takes about 20 minutes, and decide that with the bike around the back, I'm slightly more safe to go inside and watch the cctv of what's happened. The blinds are open now though, and I stand in the front window so I can keep an eye on the road.
The CCTV shows this: at 12.28 two youths on a motorbike pull up outside my house. One jumps off and jogs to my bike, with a pair of bolt cutters. His hood is up, a scarf over his face. He goes out of sight to attack the chain. Around 20-30 seconds later he appears again, pulling the cover off my bike. He struggles slightly, it's clipped around the back wheel. He jogs back to give his mate the bolt cutters. He unclips the cover from my bike, throwing it to one side. He nearly slips over when he stands on it while moving to the other side of my bike. He attempts to break the steering lock, but can't. He runs back to his mate on the black motorbike, jumps on the back, and they leave. People walk by, looking at what has occurred. Nobody bothers to knock on my door and see if anyone is home. The lads appear around 2 minutes later, now three of them on the black motorbike. The new youth also has his hood up, face covered. The first lad moves to the front wheel of my bike, while the new youth jumps onto the seat, right handlebar in his hands, feet on the left handlebar. It's safe to assume the first lad is pulling the wheel while the second lad pulls with his arms while pushing with his legs as they attempt to break the steering lock. The handlebars visibly bend from the pressure before the lock gives way. Lad 2 gets off the bike, and they move it forward to take it off the centre stand. Lad 1 spots the door opening and bolts, lad 2 following as he realises, dropping the bike. I appear as they get to the black motorbike, jumping on and riding away.
Shortly after watching this, my wife arrives home. It is now nearly 2pm, and the police have not responded in any fashion. We take still images of the offenders from the cctv, and the footage itself, and post it on Facebook in various local groups. Responses and shares come flooding in; "they're at this street, they've stolen another bike here, here's some names you may want to pass along to the police as they're known to do this sort of thing and match the description". All this is passed along to the police via the non emergency number (that takes 20 minutes for a call to get through on). One of the Facebook posts reaches 300 shares. The police have still not been in touch of their own accord. It is 7pm, my wife has to leave to go back to work. She is sent home again shortly after arriving back there. She's too concerned with what has happened to be angry that she's had to drive for over an hour to work, only to be sent back so soon.
While she is gone, one of the people commenting says that they're back on my road. I ring the police again. There's still no sign of them. My wife gets home at around 11pm. We head to bed. I'm exhausted, but every time the dogs bark, Every time there's a noise outside, I'm up to check the cameras and look out of the windows.
6am Tuesday morning, I get a Facebook message from the South Yorkshire Off Road police team. They've heard there's cctv evidence. I confirm that. They tell me someone will be there to see me within 48 hours. I don't want the bike around the house anymore, everyone has been saying the youths will be back. I ring the dealership that I bought the bike from, organise for them to collect it for a repair quote. They pick it up in the early afternoon.
I have to go to work that evening, every teenager I see fills me with dread. While I'm at work, my wife gets fed up with waiting for the police. She contacts our local councillor, local MP, and the local paper. I get home around 1am, another sleepless night.
Wednesday, the Councillor is appalled by the lack of action by the police, contacts the inspector in charge of the investigation. The paper runs the story. That evening, I receive two phone calls, one from the inspector, another from an officer looking to collect the cctv footage. We notice while watching it again that the offenders were not wearing gloves. Fingerprints have been lost because of the poor handling of the case. A Community Support officer comes to see us. The inspector tells me that the emergency call was somehow logged as property damage rather than an attempted theft in progress, and that the dispatcher responsible has been given appropriate feedback. I don't believe him. No need to ask for a description of the offenders if it's property damage.
Thursday. The quote for repair comes back. £1337.95, on a bike that cost £2299. My insurance excess is £750. I've yet to even pay a single premium, I've not had the bike even 3 weeks.
We investigate options over the next few days. If I claim through the insurance, I'll have to pay premiums for the rest of the year. Plus the finance, for a total of £110 a month. Then we'd also have to pay to beef up the security on the house to keep the bike safer.
After much consideration, I decide not to keep the bike. We borrow money from my wife's parents to pay the finance off in one lump, plus cancelling the insurance. We arrange for a scrap collector to collect the bike.
He arrives Thursday evening, looks the bike over, and declares it a category B write off, apparently the frame is damaged, and the forks are bent from where the steering lock had so much pressure put on it. He offers us £745. It's more than twice what anyone else has offered. We accept.
Since getting the bike 31 days ago, as of this moment, I've travelled 72 miles. It's still on the same tank of petrol.
The lads were caught a few days ago, attempting to push start a classic motorbike that was registered stolen. They ran when spotted by the police, but we're caught and arrested.
They were released shortly after, pending further investigation. My mental health is a joke, I am severely out of pocket, no longer have a bike, and the lads responsible are still free to do as they please.