Stolen BMX bikes recovered

By Liz Mellino

There were smiles all around yesterday when the Hawkins family visited the Shepparton Police Station to recover their stolen bikes.

The family’s four BMX bikes were stolen in the early hours of Tuesday morning from the Victoria Lake Holiday Park, alongside three other bikes belonging to two other families.

The Hawkins family travelled from Queensland for the BMX Australia National Championships, but their visit quickly turned sour when they noticed their BMX bikes had been stolen from their caravan site while they were sleeping.

With a total value of more than $6000, Stacey Hawkins said the family was relieved and completely shocked when they received a call yesterday to say police had found their bikes.

‘‘I was absolutely amazed, I didn’t expect it I really didn’t — I’m thrilled and I’m amazed at the police’s efforts,’’ Ms Hawkins said.

‘‘It’s the best outcome possible... the bikes mean everything to the kids, as long as they’re happy I’m happy and that’s all that matters to me.’’

Following the theft on Tuesday morning, Shepparton police Detective Senior Constable Paul Van Emmerik said they received a number of public calls about the stolen bikes.

Following this information police were able to find the seven bikes yesterday in the Shepparton area.

‘‘It was from the assistance from the public that police were able to recover the bikes that were stolen,’’ he said.

‘‘Police conducted searches as a result of the information provided by the public at a number of addresses in Shepparton and all the bikes were recovered.

‘‘Inquiries are pending in regards to persons involved.’’

While The News initially reported that six bikes were stolen from the Victoria Lake Holiday Park, police were made aware of a seventh bike that was found alongside the others.

Det Sen Const Van Emmerik said the owner of this bike had not reported it as stolen when police found it yesterday, but they were expected to attend the Shepparton Police Station yesterday afternoon to report the theft and collect the bike.

Det Sen Const Van Emmerik said it was a great result for everyone involved, encouraging community members and visitors to ensure their property was secure at all times.

‘‘With community assistance we can work together and solve most crimes, we just need to get community involved to provide information to assist us in our investigations,’’ he said.

Greater Shepparton City Council engineer Phil Hoare said council had improved the security at the Victoria Lake Holiday Park following the thefts, with guards patrolling the site every hour during the night, which will continue through until Sunday evening.

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe greeted the Hawkins family yesterday when they collected their bikes, saying council would be covering the cost of the accommodation for the families involved.

‘‘It is very important we look after people who come and visit our region,’’ Cr O’Keeffe said.

‘‘It has been a stressful 48 hours, so it’s important to try and support them in any way we can — the great news is that it’s a positive outcome we are mindful that police have done a great job and we certainly appreciate the hard work they have done.’’