It was about 8.30pm last night (Sunday) when David (my partner) got a call from his ex wife Louise telling us that their son Brodys bike had been stolen. Brody had been playing at his friends house and his bike was parked in the back garden, inside the gate of the rather posh house. The parents of Brodys friend were not too bothered about the fact a 300 pound bike had been stolen but I guess when you have money of that proportion, it isn't an issue to replace anything. Anyway I digress.

Louise and her partner Andy were out looking for the bike, so David and I also went out riding around looking but to no avail. It was too dark and wet making visibility too hard. And of course the police station on Canvey is never open at night and not one patrol car was in sight!

This morning, David took Brody and his daughter Madi out for a drive around and they came across the bike outside an off licence. There was a fully grown man on it and he was standing outside the shop talking to a man, whilst both were smoking. Madi noticed that it was Brodys bike but David could not put himself in a situation in front of his children, so they followed the man who they eventually lost. He seemed to disappear into thin air.

After a lunch break here, we dropped Madi and Brody home and David and I rode round to the place that they last saw the man. We wandered into the flats and I decided to look into the glass doors of the communcal entrance. It was then that I saw what I believed to be, Brodys bike. We could not be sure so we needed Brody to confirm it was his. So David stayed near the flats and I went and got Brody and Madi.

I know someone who lives in the flats and asked them how I could get into the communcal hallway. They told me to buzz the tradesman button. We were in. Brody confirmed the bike was his and we came out and rang Louise who called the police again and told them. They told us to wait there and they would be there as soon as possible.

David then went to get the car that was parked further away. As he went, all of a sudden the man who they had seen earlier came round the corner on another bike! I asked Madi and Brody if he was the man and they said it was him. So I rang David and told him to come back quickly because we didn't know what sort of man he was. He had eyed us as I eyed him!

Next thing, David spoke to him and told him that the bike in the hallway was his sons and the man just said to take it back then. In my mind that suggests he knew the bike was stolen as he did not put up a fight. I joined in the conversation and asked him where he had got the bike from and he told us it was from a man/lad called Mitch. He said he only knew him from walking along the sea wall and didn't, conveniently, know anything else about him, other than the fact he rides around Canvey on a bike with a rucksack on his back.

David was fuming so removed himself from the situation but I stayed chatting to the man who said he was really annoyed because he had purchased the bike in good faith for his daughter the day before. He paid 60 pounds for it and was told when he purchased it that Mitch had purchased it from a shop for 130 pounds. But the bike is worth 300 pounds. The man had to know the bike was stolen, why else would someone sell a bike they claim to have just purchased at half the price?

I kept the man talking as much as I could, he was upset because he thought he would be arrested for receiving stolen goods. And he was also upset that he had lost money and said he would get the 60 pound back off of the man he brought it from. To me this suggests that he knew the guy more than he let on because how would he know where to find him to get the money back? He was also saying that we were okay because we had found the bike and that he was the one out of pocket and that his daughter was upset. But his daughter came out and I asked her if it was her the bike had been brought for and she said yes but also added, that it wasn't hers so she couldn't have it. She said she only likes Harrow (maybe different name) bikes so why then did her Dad buy her this bike? And why, if he got it for his daughter was he riding it around the streets this morning? After all, he already had a bike that he rode in on this afternoon.

I kept chatting to the man and he was telling me that he had his burger van stolen and that although the van was returned, the equipment inside had all been taken. And that he had moved to Canvey from Enfield to get away from all the crime. He also said that his quad bike had been stolen from where he lived. And when I carried on talking to him, he said that it got to the point where he thought 'why shouldn't I take stolen property, it has happened to me so many times'.

He was probing where the bike was stolen from and I just said near the sea front, trying to hush Brody who was giving out his address nearly! In the end the police told us we could take the bike and that they would interview later. Bear in mind we had been there over an hour waiting for them.

Between us, we found the receiver, followed him, found the bike, found the reciever again, questioned him and retrieved the bike. Where were the police during all this?

Later on David and I dropped Madi and Brody home and were on our way home to our house. We were talking to each other about the alleged person who actually stole the bike and I said he was ginger but with a shaved head. Next thing a man riding a bike, with a ginger shaved head, wearing a rucksack rode past. I hadn't mentioned the rucksack thing to anyone else, but I shouted to David 'thats him' and we turned round and came up behind him. As we went past him, I rolled down the window and said 'hello mitch', he glanced at me and then turned into the first road available. We had to turn round and by the time we got back into the estate he went into we had lost him. I was so annoyed because we wouldn't have pulled him but we could have followed him to his address and let the police take it from there.

So the police are going to Louises house tonight and David is going to give his part of the interview. Although it was me who kept the receiver talking for a long time so you'd think they'd want my information too. Oh well, it is all written here now if they need it.

So today has been eventful and I feel we did a great job as detectives! Lets see if the real detectives actually do anything about it all later......................
Monday 23rd August 2010