Thieves stole an unusual Harley Davidson motorbike containing a Leighton man’s medals, beret and Royal British Legion waistcoat just hours before he was due to take part in the town’s Remembrance Sunday Service parade.
Derrick Dobbie, 59, of Harrow Road, believes the limited edition bike, made specially for the British Army,was stolen in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“It was parked behind two cars and another bike,” he said. “So they must have gone to a lot of trouble to get it out.
“I felt complete shock, horror and disbelief when I saw it was gone.
“I’d packed the panniers the night before with my medals, beret and waistcoat. They’re not worth much to anyone else but they’re of great sentimental value to me.”
Derrick, who works for B/E Aerospace in Grovebury Road, spent 28 years with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in the Territorial Army and proudly holds the TA medal for long service as well as the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal.
He bought the bike – an MT350, registration P410HBC – three years ago before stripping it down and rebuilding it.
He said: “It’s matt green and very rugged. Only 2,500 were made so it’s fairly rare. It attracts attention because it’s an ex military bike and it’s well known at British Legion functions.”
After discovering the theft, Derrick changed into jacket and tie and went to the parade. “It was the least I could do,” he explained. “I didn’t want to let people down, especially as it was all about remembering the fallen.”
Later on Sunday he had a message that someone had seen a similar bike at the White Lion retail park in Dunstable: “So maybe it’s still in the area.”
Derrick’s daughter Sarah said: “We hope having the story in the LBO will increase our chances of getting his medals, beret and waistcoat back before they’re dumped somewhere.”
> If you have any information call Beds Police on 101.
> STOP PRESS: As the LBO went to press, police said the bike had been recovered but not the panniers and their contents.