HEARTLESS thieves ripped off a metal security gate to steal bicycles — worth more than £12,000 — used by some of Bolton’s most vulnerable, youngsters and older people.

Charity WAVE Adventure, which provides young people, their families and adults with outdoor experiences, discovered 11 bicycles used to run a popular cycling scheme in Breightmet had been stolen overnight Friday.

CCTV shows what looks like four youths grabbing top-quality mountain and road bikes within three minutes before fleeing the bike store in Tonge Moor.

Now, because of their actions, young and older people in the area will miss out on the popular weekly bike rides and sessions.

WAVE — which stands for Water Activities and Various Experiences — is dependent on fundraising and grants to run their activities.

Graham Wood, from the organisation, which has been running in Bolton for 21 years, said: “We are devastated. It is just horrible what has happened. We have been developing a bike hub and riding scheme in the Breightmet area for the past year to run community sessions for a range of groups.

“We run a number of weekly sessions, for the over-50s, for young people and for disadvantaged youngsters.

“The bikes were funded by the lottery, Bolton Fund and British Cycling.

“We were planning a cycling event so this is a big blow.

“It will really impact those who attend the sessions and do not have bikes.”

Now, until the bikes are replaced, the group will not be able to run full group sessions.

Graham added: “It looks like they came prepared for this and ripped off the metal fence to get inside and take the bikes.”

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to replace the bikes so the popular scheme could continue. Graham said the organisation would look at increasing security to prevent such incidents in the future.

The cycling scheme is part of Wave’s work in helping communities, particularly those in disadvantaged areas, build confidence through healthy adventure activities like rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and gorge walking. To support the appeal visit www.gofundme.com/f/replace-bikes-etc-stolen-from-wave-adventure. Anyone with information should contact police.

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