Ipswich teenager with autism has bike stolen by gang a week before winning gold at Special Olympics
PUBLISHED: 07:09 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:08 16 August 2017
An autistic teenager from Ipswich was left 'distraught' after a group of thugs pushed him over and stole his bike - just a week before he struck gold at the Special Olympics.
Jordan Rednall, 16, of Woodbridge Road, adores cycling and spends more than two hours each day on two wheels.
Last week he triumphed at the Special Olympics in Sheffield, winning a gold medal in the softball throw event.
Just a week before, on Sunday, July 30, Jordan was riding his treasured Mongoose Thunderball bike around Landseer Park in Ipswich at around 5.30pm when he was approached by a gang of teenagers who pushed him off his bike and rode away.
When Jordan’s father John later approached the group, they laughed at him and ran off.
John said the theft has had a big effect on Jordan, who can’t comprehend why the group took his beloved bicycle.
“Cycling is his life, he does it every single day,” said John.
“He lives on his bicycle - he is known as ‘the boy on the bike’ where we live.
“It was his pride and joy.
“Jordan has autism, learning difficulties, ADHD and anxiety issues.
“When he came back I tried to calm him down.
“He was screaming and crying when he came back.
“I can’t understand why anyone would do this.
“The teenagers knew of his vulnerability and took advantage of the situation without remorse.
“It is so callous.”
John said although the Special Olympics took Jordan’s mind off his bike being stolen, since returning home it has again played on his mind.
“He keeps asking ‘have the police found my bike please?’ said John.
“I have had to tell him it’s over, the bike is gone.”
John said Jordan’s Mongoose Thunderball bike is very rare, and may be the only one of its type in Ipswich.
Messages of support for Jordan have flooded social media since news of the bike theft emerged.
A crowdfunding page has been set up to buy Jordan a brand new bike which has already raised £200 towards the £500 target.
John said he was grateful to everyone for their kindhearted support.
He said: “It’s overwhelming really.
“That people would care so much about my son is lovely.
“I’s amazing the generosity of some people, it is not easy in this current climate.
“For people to think of Jordan and donate some of their hard earned money is just wonderful.
“He doesn’t want a laptop, an iPhone, a computer - a simple thing like a piece of metal with two wheels brings a huge amount of joy to him.
“I can’t explain how much it means to him.”
A police spokeswoman said: “The theft was reported to us in person on August 1.
“The victim was on his own when he was approached.
“They took the bike and cycled off.
“Enquiries are still ongoing.
“If you witnessed the theft or have any information that may assist the investigation contact Suffolk police on 101 quoting crime reference 37/52112/17.”