Kayak theft ‘took the wind out of my sails’ says lifelong watersports fan Gary

PUBLISHED: 12:51 22 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:51 22 July 2019

Gary Baker on Budleigh beach where his kayaks were stolen. Ref exb 29 19TI 8537. Picture: Terry Ife

Gary Baker on Budleigh beach where his kayaks were stolen. Ref exb 29 19TI 8537. Picture: Terry Ife


The theft of two £350 kayaks from Budleigh Salterton beach has left the owner shocked.

Opportunist thieves took the Feelfree Nomad vessels sometime between 10am on Friday, July 12, and 6pm on Saturday, July 13, as well as half the cables tying it down and the locking mechanism.

Police say they are investigating the incident.

Gary Baker, 56, of Armytage Road, discovered the kayaks - which were secured on a stretch of the beach at Marine Parade - were missing after driving past the seafront on Saturday.

He said, along with the stress of two house moves in the last seven months, the shock of the kayaks being stolen 'finished him off'.

Mr Baker said: "It just takes the wind out of your sails.

"Kayaking is not something we do a lot, it's just something we are interested in - sometimes we have taken them down to Ladram Bay.

"It was very upsetting - coupled with everything else going on.

"This move was quite important to us and with it being Budleigh, the shock was bigger."

Prior to moving to the town from Weston Super Mare earlier this year, Mr Baker, who is a postman in Honiton, had been making regular trips down to the area since he was a child.

It was these visits which sparked an interest in kayaking, particularly at Ladram Bay.

He and his wife Jane have become keen kayakers and in April decided to secure their boats to the seafront for ease of access.

The discovery of the theft comes days after Mr Baker noticed they had been moved from their original location.

He said: "I was going to bring them home but never did it as we were in the middle of a house move."

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: "Police are investigating the theft of two kayaks from the beach at Budleigh Salterton.

"Offenders cut a security cable to take the kayaks sometime between 10am and 6pm on Friday, July 12."

Anyone who saw anything suspicious around the time of the offence should contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by phoning 101, quoting crime reference CR/062791/19.

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