A woman from Hemel Hempstead who had her bike stolen is appealing for help in finding it and is offering a reward to the perpetrator.
Yvonne Bauwens had her bike stolen from the garage of her nanny’s family home on April 8.
Following the event, she took to Facebook and launched an appeal to the person who stole her beloved bike.
She said: “I know you are an opportunist as you took the opportunity to steal my bike. People saw you and your pals along the canal asking if you could buy their bikes from their narrow boats. You clearly wanted a bike.
“Then upon seeing mine, you saw an opportunity and took it. While your pals, some on bikes, kept watch, you drew the short straw and had your face all over the CCTV. To be honest, you really did have the short straw as my bike is large and by the looks of it, you seem much shorter than me!
“I would like to offer you another opportunity, and it involves you getting a bike – your own bike.”
Yvonne is asking the thief to return her bike back and in return she’ll buy them one.
She said: “You give me my bike back. No blame, no anger towards you, no police hiding around the corner, no hidden booby-traps. Just you bringing my bike back to me. If it’s damaged, I’ll repair it.
“In return, I will buy a bike for you. I’ll take into account your height, size, preference etc. It doesn’t have to be a mountain bike. If you want a road bike, or a hybrid or a BMX – whatever – that can be arranged. It will definitely be one that fits you properly, as, let’s be honest, mine really is far too big!
“I will also teach you about bike maintenance. Whatever bike you choose, I will also kit you out with the appropriate safety gear.
“Life is challenging at the moment – I understand that. I lost my job at the beginning of the pandemic and in these past six months, I have slogged hard to rebuild my working hours back to full-time as a self-employed nanny, gardener and carer.”
Yvonne spoke also about her biking adventures and revealed more about herself.
She added: “In my teens, I had to use a wheelchair as an illness affecting my muscles resulted in me not being able to walk for periods of time. I am glad to say that I no longer require a wheelchair.
“When I was 22, I experienced a life-changing trauma. In my recovery, I threw myself into more serious mountain biking as a distraction and a means of coping with all the horrible emotions in my life at the time.
“My anger and pain were channelled into an adrenalin-pumped sport. I saved long and hard to buy that bike and it was my buddy opening new opportunities on trails and at jumps parks.
“My bike has dings and scratches, each with a memory of how it got there. And each with scars on my body to match! In response to the crashes, I bought a full-face helmet, better gloves and some body armour, and I repaired the bike’s injuries with love, time and money when I could afford it.
“I may have fallen hard sometimes, but I got back up every time. And the biking progress mimicked the struggles in my life then too.
“I have taken that bike all over the world with me. When I moved here to Hertfordshire, it came too.
“In my spare time, I help people find suitable bikes. I source bikes which fit properly, or I make the adjustments and tweaks to ensure it’s a comfortable ride.
“I now want to help you. If you’ll let me, that is. Embrace this opportunity for a fresh start. Theft isn’t the way forward. Biking can bring such joy, and in receiving my bike back, joy for me too.”