ADVER paper boy Sam Robinson has lost his lifeline after his bike was stolen just three weeks after he saved up to buy it.
Sam, 15, of Corsham Road, has had a paper round in Penhill for the last year, and volunteers at the Reptile Rescue Centre as well as studying for a college course.
He saved up his £8-a-week wage for three months to buy the bike – a Crave Stoked WX C Series – before it was stolen from a garden on Ruskin Avenue on Monday afternoon.
“I really needed that bike so I could keep doing my paper round and have a social life,” said Sam. “A lot of my friends are not local, and it does take a while to get to them.
“It also helps me to get to my media club in town. I am doing the first half of a media make-up course at college, which I do by helping out at a group based at the Wyvern Theatre. “They teach kids how to make films, and I have done the make up for one film for them already.
“I’m going to Kingsdown School and Swindon College as well, doing a pre-16, which means I go to the college once a week instead of extra GCSEs.”
This is not the first time Sam has had a bike stolen, and the last one was returned by local officers. “On Monday he had gone to visit a friend and went inside their house for a matter of minutes before realising the bike had been stolen.
“I had left the bike in my friend’s front garden on Ruskin Avenue at about 1pm, and I was only inside for five minutes,” he said.
“When I came back out it was gone.
“This is the first time this bike has been stolen, but my old bike was taken last year as well as my phone. The PCSOs managed to retrieve it that time.
“I don’t think this one is going to be found. Bikes change hands quickly and who knows where it is now?
“If I don’t find it I’m not sure I would be able to carry on the media course, and it would make my paper round much harder. The papers are getting thicker and it is much more difficult to carry.
“I got this bike at quite a bargain, so it will probably take a lot longer to save up to get another bike of that standard.
“My friends bike was taken a while ago, and he ended up buying it back for a fiver.”
Sam’s mum Angie, 32, was furious when she heard the news the bike had been taken.
“This made me absolutely livid,” she said. “It is almost daily bikes get stolen round here, and I don’t think parents are doing enough. “The amount of parents who must see their kids with a different bike but don’t ask questions, they should be picking up on that.
“This bike was a lifeline for him, like a mobile phone is for the kids. He works hard and he doesn’t go out causing trouble. “He is polite and courteous despite his teenage attitude, and he will help anyone he can.
“There are not many kids of his age who will take up volunteer work and do a media course because he knows it will benefit him.
“I have put this on every for sale page on Facebook, and the people of Swindon have been brilliant in sharing the posts.
“To sell it locally would probably be impossible.”
l Anyone with information about the location of the Crave Stoked WX C Series bike should contact Wiltshire Police on non-emergency number 101