A teenager was left devastated after police told him they believed they had tracked down his stolen BMX bike – only for them to give it straight back to the people who were found with it.
Victim Harry Hughes, 16, was left stunned when police told him the custom BMX bike – worth £900 – and his friend’s mountain bike could not be recovered because no official report of the incident could be found.
Harry, of Wigginton, said: “I got all excited, thinking I was going to get my bike back, then I got told the people who nicked it still had it.”
The BMX and the mountain bike were stolen in the early hours of October 3 from Elizabeth Drive, Tring, and Harry reported them as stolen later that day.
After calling 101, he was transferred through to Tring police station where he spoke to the officer on duty. After taking down Harry’s details, the officer said he would call him if they found the bikes.
But the incident was not recorded and no crime reference number was generated, so when two bikes matching the description of Harry’s and his friend’s were recovered, there was no official record on the system and the bikes could not be seized.
Harry said: “I’m really angry. That person at Tring station needs to go back to police school. I thought they were going to follow standard procedure.”
A police spokesman said: “We were made aware of a possible theft of two bikes in Tring, but as it was not officially reported to us as a definite crime until after the bikes had been recovered, it was not crimed through our system.
“The investigation is still ongoing and we are doing everything we can to rectify this situation and return the bikes to their rightful owners.”