An eight-year-old girl was left in “floods of tears” after her beloved bike was stolen from outside her house.
Jen Blakemore’s daughter, Molly, loved her bike as her grandad had taught her how to ride on it.
She said: “We didn’t notice the day it had gone because she always leans it up against the wall by the front.
“We’ve got a closed off drive so somebody must have had spotted it and come in and got it.
“After school, she asked if she could go on her bike and I said of course you can.
“Two seconds later she’s knocking on the door in floods of tears. She’d checked the entry and everywhere and she was like, ‘it’s gone, it’s gone!’
“We looked around everywhere and we couldn’t find it.”
Fearing the bike had been stolen, Jen posted a photo of her daughter’s bike on local Facebook groups and asked people to keep an eye out for it.
Within about half an hour the post had been shared more than 50 times.
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Jen said: “Within about two hours I’d had three new bikes offered to me from people whose kids had grown out of them.
“I was showing them all to Molly trying to cheer her up. They were all lovely pink and purple – it was kind of making her smile but it wasn’t her bike.
“The bike that was stolen she learned to ride on with her grandad.
“I was showing her all the posts of the bikes people were offering her but she was like, ‘that’s really lovely’ but she just wanted HER bike back.”
Later that evening, Jen noticed a reply on one of her posts from Lauren Navarro.
Lauren posted: “Hi, I have the bike in my hall, my partner chased a lad off it early hours last night, so glad we can get it back to her message me for address xxx”.
Lauren had recognised the bike as the same one her partner Chris Heywood had recovered after chasing a lad “trying car doors” in the early hours.
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Chris, 35, told the ECHO: “It was about one o’clock in the morning and I’d woke up on the couch. I was just closing my curtains and I looked out and seen someone trying a car door.
“I watched him for a little bit more and then he started trying the garage door. I seen a bike on the floor and I shouted and he tried to hide in the garden by the garage.
“I got my trainers on and ran down and as I’ve got to the bottom door I saw him on this small bike trying to make a getaway up the road.
“I shouted him and he just dropped the bike and ran off.”
Chris said It was faster for the man to get off the bike and run than peddle as it was so small.
He added: “I just took the bike in and went to work the next day and Lauren went on Facebook and let me know somebody had posted about it.”
The same evening, Lauren, 27, took the bike back around to the little girl’s address.
Jen said: “I was so grateful. It was late evening and the kids were in their pyjamas in bed so I was trying to organise picking it up.
“Then I got a message saying Lauren’s already halfway there on foot wheeling the bike around because she wanted Molly to have it back the same evening.
“I didn’t tell Molly that Lauren was on her way. I called her down and the look on her face when I opened the front door was just priceless.
” She was beaming. She gasped and went – ‘My bike, my bike!’ And gave Lauren the biggest hug.
“That was when I took that photo.”
Jen said now Molly keeps talking about how amazing Lauren is, and said she is grateful for how quickly she was able to return the bike.
Jen said: “The fact that she brought it round the same evening to get it back to her – it was just lovely.”
She added: “The lad who was ragging it up and down the street has ruined it a little bit. She can’t ride it at the moment but her grandad is going to do a bit of maintenance on it.
“It’s things that can be fixed.”