Family’s emotional tribute to man who collapsed and died during search for Leeds motorbike thieves

Cave Lane in East Ardsley. Picture: Google.
Cave Lane in East Ardsley. Picture: Google.

The family of a man who collapsed and died after thieves struck at his home near Leeds have paid tribute to “a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend”.

Ian Wells, 59, was pronounced dead at the scene after being found by his 31-year-old son near Lingwell Gate Lane, East Ardsley, at about 10.30pm on Thursday.

The pair had split up after going out to search the area at around 10.10pm when they realised a motorbike had been taken from the garden of Mr Wells’ home in Cave Lane, also in East Ardsley.

West Yorkshire Police today revealed that a post-mortem carried out over the weekend established that Mr Wells died as a result of heart failure linked to heart disease.

In a statement, his family said: “Ian was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He was the life blood of the family and many would say one of the nicest people in the world.

“We are devastated with the loss of a great man.”

CCTV from Mr Wells’ home shows that the bike – a bright yellow Honda with the registration V699 PCX – was taken by four suspects who had arrived on two motorbikes.

Police received a number of reports of it being ridden around the Middleton area of Leeds on Thursday night. The bike has yet to be located.

Leeds District CID’s Det Insp Richard Holmes said: “Although Mr Wells’ death has now been confirmed as not being suspicious, it remains a very tragic set of circumstances which has had an understandable impact on his family.

“We are continuing to carry out extensive enquiries to identify those involved in the theft of the motorbike and would still like the public’s help with any information that could assist the investigation.”

A 21-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of theft in connection with the incident has been released under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to ring Leeds District CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.