British champion Harry Barlow has been left devastated after thieves stole his new £10,000 go-kart. The heartbroken 12-year-old had only had the go-kart for a fortnight - after his dad bought it as a reward when he was crowned British Easykart Cadet Karting Champion in Suffolk in September.
Thieves stole the Birel Motorsport kart from the garage at his home on Gargrave Crescent, Hemsworth, between midnight and 12.45am Saturday morning.
The theft has meant that Harry, a Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy student, will be unable to defend his title next year. The youngster, who only started karting in the championships two years ago, would have been able to move up from the cadet section to the junior section.
Mr Barlow, 35, has now offered a £1,000 reward for the return of the go-kart and information leading to a conviction.
The kart has since been spotted in Thurnscoe and Mr Barlow is also appealing for anyone who might have CCTV of it being driven from Hemsworth into South Yorkshire to get in touch with police.
Mr Barlow said: “We usually keep the go-kart in a lock-up at my business premises but I have been poorly with kidney stones so just stuck it in the garage for ease.
“We are only insured for £1,500 for outbuildings and won’t be able to buy Harry a new one. It cost us £9,534, not counting what we paid for the digital steering wheel and other bits. We just can’t afford another £10,000. Harry is absolutely devastated. He came home from school at lunchtime earlier this week crying his eyes out.
“This means he won’t be able to defend his British championship. We had bought him the go-kart so that he could move up a grade and as a reward for winning the title. My lad is gutted.
“We are offering a reward because we want the kart back. More than likely it won’t be any good but we should be able to salvage certain bits, such as the wheels, and just buy a new frame. The go-kart is very noisy - people must have heard it being driven through the streets.”
Insp Geoff Carter, from the South Kirkby neighbourhood police team (NPT), said: “We are investigating this theft. From the information we have received, this go-kart is being used on a regular basis in both West and South Yorkshire. Anyone who has information about who is using it or where it is being kept should contact us. All information will be followed up in confidence.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111. The story is also on the Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express Facebook page so that members of the public can share the picture of the stolen go-kart. Mr Barlow can be contacted on 07584 705678.