POLICE are still investigating the theft of a family’s bikes after a person who appeared to be a scam artist claimed to know where they were.

Amanda Middleton reported the theft of the bikes which occurred at her home in Hampton, Evesham on January 3.

In 2017 her family had a road bike stolen from their garage. The thieves were never caught and bike never seen again. The police were informed and said there was little they could do as it was likely to be a opportunistic crime.

Mrs Middleton said: “We had to claim on our home insurance to recover the cost of the bike which was £1,000.

“We have now been broken into again, this time the thieves have climbed over the top of our garage as you cannot open from the outside and have smashed our security lighting and removed four bikes, three road bikes and one TT bikes, the value off these is around £5,000 altogether.

"They have then broken our garage door (double doors) to be able to exit through to the lane behind our house. The bikes cost substantial amounts of money and we are devastated by the fact that we have been broken into once again, that property was damaged and that our bikes have been stolen.”

Mrs Middleton said she was told originally that there was little police could do.

“The police have said they probably won’t investigate but given four bikes have been stolen this is not a lone person happening to be passing by and seeing a bike and taking it ... they have planned to come and take them.”

A spokesman West Mercia Police said: “I can confirm that a police officer and police community support officer were involved in investigating the theft of these bikes.

"The PCSO and I did a reassurance visit gave her a victim pack, including some smart water and a shed alarm (from Wychavon).

"He also established more detail about the bikes and conducted house to house enquiries.

"The officer in case had primary with the victim, Ms Middleton, further to her complaint that nothing had been done regarding the crime.

"In the interim however full details of the stolen bikes and the circumstances surrounding their theft were posted on a public Facebook post, and it is in response to this a third party made contact claiming to know where the stolen bikes were and offering to retrieve them by purchasing them back.

"He was not able to offer any further information other than what had been posted on Facebook and which was therefore publicly known.

"He requested a sum of money in order to complete the transaction and as contact continued this sum decreased.

"The police have scrutinised this element of the investigation and the individual involved and are confident to conclude that this was a scam, hence we were not able to retrieve the bikes through this line of enquiry.

"To date this individual has failed to make contact with the police despite our best efforts to speak with him.

"In the meantime we continue to investigate the offence of theft and the victim should be assured of our best attention to this enquiry."