A young motorcyclist from Meltham whose bike was stolen has been forced to pay out more than £150 in fees to the police.
Joe Mellodew, 18, was devastated when he discovered his KSR GRS 125 bike had been stolen overnight on April 28 from his girlfriend’s house in Flemminghouse Lane, Waterloo .
His girlfriend’s dad reported it to police and they shared a social media appeal for sightings.
Joe’s mum Nicola Mellodew explained: “He was absolutely gutted when it was stolen. We’re a biker family. My husband and I are members of the Harley Davidson club, so he’s always been around bikes. His current bike was a present for his 18th birthday and he has two years no claims on his insurance. I can’t imagine there’s many his age who can say that. He’s a really responsible rider and driver so this was a massive blow.”
So when the bike was found days after it was reported in Dalton the Mellodew family thought things were on the up but that wasn’t the case.
Nicola continued: “Police found it hidden under a tarpaulin in Dalton propped against a wall.
“Apparently one of the neighbours reported it. It wasn’t in a dangerous position or causing an obstruction.
“Police phoned my son to say they had found it but because he was at college and couldn’t answer they went ahead and recovered it.
“When he got back to them they told him he would have to pay £150 recovery fees.
“This is disgusting. He’s done nothing wrong. Why are innocent people paying for the scum bags taking what isn’t theirs?
“Police said it had to stay at the recovery centre with a £10 a day storage fee until it could be finger printed but after four days when we rang for an update we found out they weren’t going to bother!
“We weren’t going to let our son ride it until it had been checked by our local garage but because it was so late Friday they couldn’t collect it until Tuesday because of the Bank Holiday adding further costs.”
Nicola said the whole costly saga could have been avoided if police had given Joe time to arrange his own recovery and informed them immediately they weren’t going to finger print the bike.
Paula Rodgers, Vehicle Recovery Unit Manager for West Yorkshire Police , said: “It is the policy of West Yorkshire Police to recover all stolen vehicles found abandoned, as they may pose a risk to the public. They could also be at risk of being vandalised or even re-stolen.
“Vehicles are recovered to compounds where they can be stored.
“The charges for recovery and storage are set out in legislation and must be paid for by the owner of the vehicle. If this cost was not incurred by the owner then the force would either have to request additional funding or make savings elsewhere in the force’s budget. In most cases insurance companies will meet this cost as part of any claim.”