A MOTORBIKE fanatic is distraught after raiders stole his £20,000 prized possession.
Terry Wall, 60, of Cokefield Avenue, Southend, is offering a £1,000 reward for information which leads to the recovery of his custom-made Kawasaki Ninja.
Mr Wall has spent nearly every day of the past two years modifying the bike and was going to take it to his first bike show on the Isle of White at the end of the month.
However, thieves cut through a padlock on a locked gate and then broke into a metal framed garage to steal the bike.
Mr Wall said: “When I noticed it had gone it felt like a hole had opened up and swallowed me. I stood there for minutes just not quite taking it in. It’s a horrible feeling, like being violated.
“The bike is worth a lot of money but more frustrating is it’s taken me two years to get it to this point. There has been all this hard work, the disappointment of not being able to get something working, then cracking it and feeling so satisfied, and now all that has gone.”
When speaking to his insurance company, Mr Wall was told bikers in Southend were being targeted.
He said: “The words my insurer used were that Southend was getting a hammering. They said there had been a couple around Southend on the same night and there had been some on the days before and since.
“They suspect it could be a gang of Eastern Europeans and that’s where the bikes are ending up.”
He is now installing an alarm system to his property and has launched an appeal on Facebook for information, which has been shared by about 6,000 people so far.
He added: “Within the first hour of me posting it 2,000 people had shared it. Out of something so negative something positive has come from this. I have been overwhelmed with the support.
“There are a lot of not very nice people out there but there are a lot of incredible people, too.
“Bikes have been my life since I was 14 and this is a huge blow to me.”
Anyone with information about the theft, which happened between 10am on Tuesday and 6.30am on Wednesday last week can call police on 101 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.