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Star readers spot Richard's missing bike

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

A SCOUT whose bike was stolen as he worked to raise money to go to the Far East is proudly back on his two-wheeler today - thanks to Evening Star readers.

A SCOUT whose bike was stolen as he worked to raise money to go to the Far East is proudly back on his two-wheeler today – thanks to Evening Star readers.

Richard Bell's bike was taken while he was gardening for cash to go on an international Jamboree with the Scouts, prompting the Evening Star to run an article appealing for anyone who saw it to come forward.

However, the day after we published, on Saturday August 4, a woman walking in Landseer Park spotted a bike and called local beat bobby Pc John Gooch.

Both of them had read the article in the Star and, after taking the bike to Ipswich Police Station, tried to contact young Richard to ask him to come and identify the bike.

Richard said: "Unfortunately I had gone to Devon with my family for a couple of weeks and I was not about. But we got back at about 9.30pm on Saturday night and got a call about half an hour later.

"I was so excited that we drove down to the police station immediately to pick it up. I never expected to see it again really."

Richard, 15, an Ipswich High School pupil from Severn Road, said: "Apart from a slight buckled wheel and a scratch on it, the bike was fine. It was worth about £300 so of course I was glad to get it back. It's my only method of transport and it's my independence. It means I don't have to rely on my mother and father to get me about."

Richard hopes to raise around £2,800 so that he can go to Thailand in summer 2003 for the World Scouts Jamboree, and was using the bike to get about so that he could earn cash doing manual work.

If you think that you have information on any Suffolk crime, call 01473 613500. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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