Preston Motocross rider Joe revs up hunt for stolen dirt bike with £2k reward
Motocross racer Joe Jackson has offered a £2,000 reward for a brand new dirt bike stolen from his garage at the dead of night.
And he has warned other riders to be on their guard claiming: "There's a gang going round the Preston area targeting these sort of things."
Burglars got into his garage in Grimsargh this week through the roof and stole two expensive machines which he was planning to sell the following day.
The thieves managed to start one - a rare orange KTM Sxf 450 worth almost £9,000 - and rode off on it. But they were unable to fire the other up - a green KX 250 valued at £7,300 - and so dumped it in a bush after pushing it up a track.
Joe's brother Ben Hoyles, 36, who is also a Motocross rider, said: "Joe is desperate to get the bike back. But we are also keen to get the message out about thefts of these machines, as well as other motorbikes and cars.
"It's going on all over at the moment, especially round here. It's organised crime and we need to warn other riders to make sure they keep them securely under lock and key."
The theft happened between 3:20am and 4:30am on Monday as Joe and his family slept. The raiders reached his house across fields, a ditch, back gardens and a fence before removing part of the garage roof to get inside.
It is believed they made off the same way, stealing spare parts as well as the two motorbikes.
"There must have been at least three, if not four of them, to be able to get the bikes and the other stuff away from here," said Joe, 33. "And they must have planned it because of the way they made a beeline for this garage across fields and gardens.
"They couldn't get the green bike started, so they dumped it in a bush. But they managed to start the more expensive one and we've managed to get CCTV of two of them riding along the main road.
"Something needs to be done to catch these people. And anyone with a motorbike needs to make sure they have it securely locked away."
Joe decided to sell the two bikes after being grounded by a crash in which he broke his leg in three places. He advertised them on social media and he thinks that could have been where the thieves spotted their opportunity.
"It will be 2023 before I can ride again, so I thought I'd sell them and then buy something nearer the time," he said.
"We go to Motocross meetings, there's about eight or 10 of us. We race all over the country. We're only amateurs, it's just a hobby. But we're doing alright, we're up there.
"I offered the £2,000 reward for any information which leads to catching these people. We've been out with our mates looking all over the area for any sign of that bike. It's pretty distinctive, so if anyone sees it let us or the police know."