A "LOW life" burglar was captured on CCTV breaking into a garage and stealing a bike specially adapted for a person with one arm.

Carl Shelton, who had his left arm amputated after a motorbike accident 31 years ago, went into his garage to grab his bicycle on his way to work when he noticed half of his belongings had disappeared.

He was unaware the thief had been in his garden in Kingsmans Farm Road, Hullbridge, just hours earlier, stealing tools, golf clubs and machinery.

The 48 year-old, who works in a London bank, is appealing for help to trace his modified bike.

He said: "Something just didn't look right.

"I looked around and I thought where's my pushbike?

"There were other things missing like a couple of drills and my golf clubs had gone.

"I was just quickly taking stock, I hadn't noticed there had been a break in.

"There were no smashed windows, I don't know how they got in. I couldn't believe it."

Mr Shelton said having another bike adapted for his disability is a time consuming process.

He added: "The front gears and the back gears are all down one side. Both of the gear switches are on the right hand side.

"I also bought a break lever, which facilitates two cables into one lever, so you can break with one hand too.

"Anyone can ride the bike, but I can only ride that bike.

"It's very annoying, I've now got the aggravation of buying a new bike and paying for it to be adapted again. It's not a massive adaptation but it's time consuming.

"The thieves are just low-lifes."

When he looked through his CCTV footage, Mr Shelton saw a man wearing a hat entering his back garden at about 5.30am.

The burglar was seen forcing open the garage door and slowly walking off with the golf clubs and tools, before returning for the bike.

So far, no arrests have been made and police are still searching for the distinctive bike.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "A man broke into the garage at a house in Kingsmans Farm Road at 5am on Wednesday, May 18.

"A number of items were stolen, including tools, golf clubs and a bicycle which had been adapted to be used by a person with one arm.

"The distinctive bike has all the brake and gear levers on one side.

"Anyone with any information, or who has been offered the bike for sale is asked to contact Pc David Love at Rayleigh police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. "