Two families from Queensland have been left devastated after more than $10000 worth of BMX bikes were stolen from their caravan sites in Shepparton overnight.
The families, staying at the Victoria Lake Holiday Park for the BMX Australia National Championships, said they were disappointed thieves targeted their property while they were just metres away.
Between the hours of midnight and 4am yesterday it is believed six bikes and one scooter were stolen from two adjacent caravan sites at the park.
A Redline Junior cruiser bike and a black and blue Radio Expert bike were stolen from under the awning of Mark Vaughan’s caravan about midnight.
‘‘I was at a friend’s caravan site and they were taken while I was there, I was probably seven metres away but inside a tent,’’ he said.
‘‘They were stealthy and very quiet so we didn’t see or hear anything.
‘‘You train towards these events and put in effort and it’s usually an external factor that you can’t control that plays the biggest havoc.’’
Thieves then targeted the caravan next door belonging to Stacey Hawkins and her family, where they stole one scooter, three children’s bikes and one adult bike with a total value of more than $6000.
Mrs Hawkins said she and her family were asleep inside the caravan while the bikes were located just outside the door.
‘‘My husband got up at about 4.15am and said, ‘Stacey have you moved the bikes? They’re gone’,’’ she said.
‘‘We found the scooter later on — they had dumped it in the caravan park and taken the bikes.’’
Mrs Hawkins said one of the stolen bikes was a $2000 Chase bike which had been purchased on Sunday for her son to compete in the nationals.
Travelling from Gladstone in Queensland, this was the family’s first time in Shepparton and Mrs Hawkins said a lot of time and money was spent to prepare them for nationals.
‘‘We don’t have a lot of money, we’re not rich, we’re not anything like that — we do this for our kids because this is the sport they enjoy and my husband does it so that he can do it with the kids,’’ she said.
‘‘I really do hope we get the bikes back because that is a lot for our family.’’
Following the thefts yesterday, members of the BMX community rallied together to find suitable bikes for the families to use while in town.
Shepparton BMX Club president Cameron May said he was pleased to see the community supporting other riders and helping members get out onto the track to compete.
‘‘They’ve come a long way, the kids are competing and they’ve just built bikes for this event — and to be stolen from the doorstep of their accommodation is just low,’’ he said.
Shepparton police confirmed yesterday that six bikes were stolen from two separate victims overnight, and the investigation was ongoing.
Leading Senior Constable Glenn Gibson urged community members to keep their eyes open around town for any BMX bikes that fit the descriptions.
‘‘There is no indication of vehicles involved, it is likely they were ridden out of the park,’’ he said.
‘‘We are keen to know of any movement of the bikes, whether they have been dumped, someone tried to sell them or someone has unexplained bikes in their possession.’’
The News contacted the caravan park managers for comment but were referred to Greater Shepparton City Council, which owns the park.
The council declined to comment, saying the incident was a matter for the police.
Anyone who saw anything or has any information about the stolen bikes is urged to phone Shepparton police on 58205777. Alternatively a confidential report can be made to Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.