Vintage bikes theft anguish

Peter Padgetts' collection of motorbikes, believed to be worth around �100k, were stolen from the branch over Christmas. Padgetts Motorbikes, Bradford Rd, Batley.

Peter Padgetts' collection of motorbikes, believed to be worth around �100k, were stolen from the branch over Christmas. Padgetts Motorbikes, Bradford Rd, Batley.

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A business owner was left distraught after raiders stole his collection of vintage motorbikes worth tens of thousands of pounds.

The vehicles were taken from Padgetts Motorcycles sometime between Sunday, December 20 and Monday, January 4.

The motorbikes were stored in a corrugated iron building at the side of the main showroom on Bradford Road, Batley.

Thieves cut a hole in the side of the storeroom and stole the bikes in what police described as a “planned operation”.

The bikes were part of the company’s founder Peter Padgett’s personal collection, which included vehicles dating back to the 1950s.

Mr Padgett’s granddaughter Fiona Padgett said: “Grandad is devastated by the loss of these machines, dating back to 1954. They’ve been a big part of his life.

“Let’s try and put a smile on his face and find the thieves responsible and recover his motorcycles.”

Police believe four people were involved in the raid and the raiders used wire cutters to cut a hole in the side of the building. They then stole the six motorbikes and fled the scene in what was believed to be a white van.

The bikes were a white 1976 Yamaha RD2 50C, which had a red tank, a purple 1954 aerial square four and an orange and black 1971 Yamaha YR5. A 1960 Vespa scooter, a 1976-78 Yamaha DT100 and a 1950-60 BSA gold flash motorbike were also stolen. PC Christopher Eglen, of Kirklees Burglary Team, said: “They were a collection of traditional and high-valued motorcycles, which Mr Padgett had been collecting for years. They were his motorbikes and not on sale to the general public.

“The bikes have a lot of sentimental value to the family and Mr Padgett said he was distraught by what has happened.”

Padgett’s Motorcycles was founded by Mr Padgett and his brother Don in 1958 and has become one the most established dealerships in the country.

It also runs the world’s longest-running and one of the most successful private motorcycle racing teams.

Anyone who witnessed the incident should call Kirklees CID on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.