Thieves have stolen the £6,000 quad bike that was the "social lifeline" of a former top motorcycle racer paralysed in a crash four year ago.
Since his devastating accident on Scarborough's Oliver's Mount circuit in 2006 Bret Crossley from Rothwell, Leeds, has had to come to terms with no longer riding motor bikes and life in a wheelchair.
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But the nearly new, high performance 700cc Yamaha Raptor 4 quad bike he acquired in May put the 35-year-old business and management degree student back in the saddle and out on the road with his many friends in the motorcycling community.
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Now the theft of the powerful quad bike – registration YJ57 XEZ – with its specially adapted electronic powered button gear shift and numerous goodies from his parents' house has left Bret devastated and faced with losing thousands if he has to claim on his insurance.
It enabled Bret to join his motorcycling pals on the road and at their various gatherings around the area, including the famous Squires Cafe at Sherburn-in-Elmet.
He said: "Riding the quad bike with its twist grip control was like being back on a motorcycle again.
"The Raptor was like the Formula 1 machine of quads, it was that powerful.
"I am absolutely devastated without it. I just do not know what to do with myself. I am angry and upset."
Aware that thieves now target quad bikes, Bret took extra precautions to keep it safe. He always ensured he took a different route home to ensure was not followed and his mum, Mrs Judith Macbeth's family car was always parked right up against the garage door.
But due to the severe icing his stepfather did not take the car down the drive that night and the thieves – almost certainly two or three strong – broke in, "unpicked" the padlock chaining it to the ground and lifted it out of the driveway over the vehicle.
Then to flaunt their lock-picking skills the thieves refastened the chain to the garage floor.
He said: "I reckon it must have taken at least four to carry it away."
Police said that the stolen quad bike was very distinctive because its high level of equipment, which also included a Scorpion twin can full race exhaust and K and W shock absorbers front and rear.
Brett added: "It's probably unique. I applied to the National
Association for Bikes for the Disabled for a grant to have the electronic gear conversion. I have already circulated the theft on Facebook and on social networking sites. I plan to put up an
advertisement at Squires."
In his racing days Bret was popular on the tracks often enjoying success at Oliver's Mount.
The quad bike from his parents' garage in Park Lane, Rothwell, between 11.15pm last Tuesday and 6.30 the following morning.
If anyone has scene the quad or has knowledge of where it might be or who took it they should contact City and Holbeck Police Rothwell Neighbourhood Policing Team via 0845 6060606.