Exmouth dad’s ‘gut-wrenching horror’ at finding teenage son’s ‘beloved’ moped ‘trashed’ in stream

PUBLISHED: 12:04 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:37 20 March 2018

Lewis Eaglesfield was left 'distraught' after his moped was stolen and dumped in a stream. Picture by Adie Eaglesfield.

Lewis Eaglesfield was left 'distraught' after his moped was stolen and dumped in a stream. Picture by Adie Eaglesfield.

Archant

An Exmouth dad has described the ‘gut-wrenching horror’ of finding his son’s ’beloved’ moped trashed and dumped in a stream after an act of ‘mindless vandalism’.

On Saturday morning Adie Eaglesfield and his 17-year-old son Lewis were horrified to discover his 50CC moped was missing from outside the family home, in Birchwood Road.

After an initial call to the police Mr Eaglesfield posted an appeal on social media asking for information to help locate the red and white SYM Jet 450 bike.

Within minutes, members of Facebook’s Exmouth Community group had commented that a moped of a similar description had been dumped in a Brook, near Dinan Way.

Lewis Eaglesfield's moped was found dumped after being stolen from his home in Exmouth on Friday. Lewis Eaglesfield's moped was found dumped after being stolen from his home in Exmouth on Friday.

Arriving at the spot, the pair found it was indeed Lewis’s moped, half-submerged in water and badly damaged.

Mr Eaglesfield said: “It was gut-wrenching when we went down on the Saturday and found it as it was. He has always paid and maintained the upkeep of his beloved moped – I don’t pay a penny for that bike.”

“If it had gone and you hadn’t seen it again, you could come to terms with it more easily. But it was a sense of horror just seeing it dumped in the brook.

Lewis Eaglesfield sitting on his 'beloved' moped before it was stolen. Lewis Eaglesfield sitting on his 'beloved' moped before it was stolen.

“It’s not been taken to sell on or make money; it’s been taken out of selfish stupidity. Don’t they have a conscience?

“Taking someone else’s pride and joy and trashing it? It wasn’t taken for profit, just mindless vandalism – that’s what makes it more frustrating.”

Mr Eaglesfield said the bike’s back tyre was badly damaged, its side panels ‘smashed’ and the back hand-grip also destroyed.

Lewis Eaglesfield's moped was found dumped after being stolen from his home in Exmouth on Friday. Lewis Eaglesfield's moped was found dumped after being stolen from his home in Exmouth on Friday.

In full-time education, Lewis used the bike to getting to work and Bicton military College, where he is pursuing his dream of becoming a medic or aeronautical engineer in the RAF.

But Mr Eaglesfield said since the bike was stolen, his son has been ‘distraught and upset’.

He said: “After Saturday, when we managed to get it back, he stayed in his bedroom and went to work very quiet and very upset – he’s kept himself to himself.

“This is the first time something like that has happened to him and he is shaken up.

“It’s knowing that there’s that potential of somebody causing damage to your things – You feel like your personal space has been invaded.”

Mr Eaglesfield praised the people of Exmouth, who rallied to his assistance on social media, sharing his post more than 200 times and offering messages of support.

He said: “I have never seen a post like that before, so many people posting and not one negative comment – along with that the people offering to help; It gives you faith in the community.”

Devon and Cornwall Police have confirmed they are investigating the theft, which took place between 7.30pm and 11pm, on Friday, March 16.

They are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity around the vehicle in Birchwood Road or Dinan Way, or anyone who may have seen the bike being driven or pushed around the area at the time of the offence.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by phone on 101, quoting crime reference CR/023024/18.

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