Boy goes from tears to gears after his bike was stolen

Spencer Gillingham, 11, was given a bicycle at Halfords, Hemel Hempstead. 'Also in the photograph are, from left, Halford managers Kass Painter and Bala Vamathevan, PC Steve Alison and Spencer's step-dad Andrew.
Spencer Gillingham, 11, was given a bicycle at Halfords, Hemel Hempstead. 'Also in the photograph are, from left, Halford managers Kass Painter and Bala Vamathevan, PC Steve Alison and Spencer's step-dad Andrew.
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An 11-year-old boy who was left distraught after his bike was stolen is pedalling once again thanks to the generosity of a police officer and shop staff.

Spencer Gillingham and his stepfather Andy had been lovingly repairing a Rhino BMX bike together at their home in Highfield, Hemel Hempstead.

But sometime between July 2 and 3 the bike was stolen from the front garden, leaving Spencer very distressed.

Police officers and PCSOs carried out house-to-house enquiries in the hope of finding the bike.

It was discovered a few days later but it had been damaged, with several parts removed including the handlebars, which left it beyond repair.

Seeing how upset Spencer was, PC Steve Alison from the Hemel Hempstead East Safer Neighbourhood Team contacted the Halfords store in London Road and asked whether they might be able to help out.

They agreed and staff presented a brand new bike tothe youngster after school on Thursday (July 16).

Store manager Bala Vamathevan said: “When we heard the sad news, we wanted to help Spencer get back in the saddle, so we invited him to pick out a new Apollo Xpander mountain bike.”

PC Alison added: “It was such a nice moment seeing the smile back on Spencer’s face.

“I know the family were very thankful for Halfords’ generosity.”

Spencer said: “I was really sad when my bike got taken away, and even more sad when I got it back and it was broken, but now the police got me a brand new bike I’m happy again. Thank you!”

The family said: “We would just like to say thank you to the police, PC Alison in particular, and to Halfords for making this possible.

“Spencer was heartbroken when his bike got stolen so it means a lot to see a smile back on his face again.

“Again, thank you to everyone who helped make this possible.”