Mum left stranded by brazen bike theft

A BRAZEN thief unbolted a bike rack around midday on Saturday in Hamilton Hill to steal a mother’s electric bike – her only mode of transport.

After posting a letter and spending about 45 minutes at a nearby shopping centre, Jaya Penelope, 46, returned to the spot where her bike should have been.

“I was shocked and it took me a while to comprehend,” she said.

“It’s left me high and dry.

“It’s my only vehicle. I don’t have a car. I use if for shopping, work, everything.”

The electric bike is worth $4000 and the single mother relies on it to take her eight-year-old son, Gwydion, to and from school in Bibra Lake.

In a statement to the Herald, Cockburn council said they did not own or maintain the bike rack.

• Jaya Penelope and son Gwydion lost their only transport to a bike thief, but are hoping kind souls will get them mobile again. Photo by Harriet Burrows

The Herald has been unable to track down its owner.

Council travelsmart officer Jillian Woolmer said bike theft is an increasing issue around Perth as cycling is becoming more popular and the council is working with WA Police to reduce bike theft.”

One of the city’s anti-theft initiatives is the council’s Bicycle D-Locks project, which includes a register to help reunite stolen bikes with their owners.

In response to the theft, community members have rallied behind Ms Penelope, with a friend setting up a crowdfunding page and South Beach Cycles offering her a discount on a new electric bike.

“It’s been very heartening,” Ms Penelope said.

“I’ve been very touched by the number of people who have shown concern.”

So far the crowdfunding has raised $1000. To make a donation to her electric bike fund go to www.chuffed.org.project/help-replace-jayas-stolen-bicycle

by WADE ZAGLAS

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