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Thief steals motorcycle on test ride

Seller tricked with car left as deposit

A THIEF stole a motorcycle he’d taken for a test ride after tricking the owner with a stolen car left as a deposit.

Posing as a potential buyer, the thief offered to leave his Alfa Romeo outside the seller’s garage, with the keys in the ignition, as he test rode the £1,700 KTM 690 SMC.

But as the sound of the bike faded from earshot, owner David Robinson walked away from the Alfa Romeo to see where it had gone – as an accomplice of the thief emerged from behind a wall, got in the car and sped off.

Mr Robinson said police later told him the Alfa Romeo had been stolen in a burglary the night before.

The 43-year-old scaffolder told Gazette Live: ‘He asked for a test drive, which was fair enough. You could see the car was a 10 plate and worth a few thousand pounds, and he’d left it with the keys in outside my garage.

‘I told the lad there wasn’t much petrol in the tank, so I told him just to go to the end of the road and back.

‘But it went out of earshot, so I walked to the end of the path to have a look where it had gone.

‘I heard revving and screeching behind me, and the Alfa Romeo sped past.’

The bike was stolen from outside Mr Robinson’s garage in Ormesby, Middlesborough, while the car had been stolen in Stockton.

Mr Robinson said the thief was in his 20s, around 5’8” and dark haired, with a Newcastle accent. He was wearing a blue or black tracksuit.

Mr Robinson didn’t see the accomplice but a dog walker later said he’d seen a man hiding behind a wall.

Mr Robinson said: ‘I just hope that someone recognises the bike and we can get it back.’

Cleveland Police confirmed the black Alfa Romeo had been recovered on Saturday.

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