December 10 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
A bogus Gumtree buyer is luring motorbike sellers to a road in Clayhall to steal the bikes in “test rides”.
Victim Matthew Kelleher, from Norwich, said his motocross bike was stolen on October 2 after he advertised it for sale on the website.
Believing he had found a genuine buyer, Mr Kelleher hired a van to deliver the bike to Repton Grove at 7.30pm.
Mr Kelleher said he did not think twice handing over the keys to his yellow Suzuki RM250 when the “buyer” asked to try it out.
He added: “It seemed so normal but he got on the back of it and didn’t come back.
“Maybe it wouldn’t have gone so easy if I hadn’t let him get on.
“What would have happened if I’d refused?”
While Mr Kelleher was waiting for the rider to return, a neighbour came out to warn him it would not be coming back.
Mr Kelleher said: “The neighbour has seen bike after bike turning up - three in the last three weeks.
“He said last time the man stole a bike from a man from Ipswich who had a seven- month pregnant girlfriend and was selling for the baby’s needs.
“Another man was from Doncaster.”
As they heard the bike getting further and further away, Mr Kelleher gave up hope and called the police.
“It was heartbreaking because I’d put so much work into the bike,” he said.
“I have never, as a 38-year-old man, felt so ashamed and embarrassed to have been conned.”
Unemployed Mr Kelleher customises second-hand bikes to sell them on for profit and had advertised the stolen motorbike for £1,800.
The thief is described as in his early 40s with black hair and around 5ft 11in tall.
On October 2, he was wearing jeans and a light blue top and did not have a helmet on.
No arrests have been made. Call Redbridge Police on 101 with information.
There are still traffic jams for miles on the westbound carriageway of the A406 from South Woodford after a teenager was stabbed to death.