A thief stole the bike of a cycle training instructor while he worked with schoolchildren in Hartlepool yesterday.
According to Hartlepool Borough Council, the instructor left his bike against the wall of a house in Stephen Street while he spoke to Year 6 pupils from the town's Sacred Heart RC Primary School.
It was part of the children's on-road Bikeability cycle training.
While the instructor was explaining to the children about how to overtake a parked car, a man came out of a house, jumped on the bike and rode off before he could be challenged, says the council.
The theft happened at 10.20am yesterday and has been reported to the police.
A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: "We are shocked that someone would stoop so low and be so brazen as to take a bike belonging to an instructor while he was working close by with children with the aim of making them safer.
“We would appeal to anyone with information about the theft or the whereabouts of the bike – a dark grey Focus 18-speed hybrid mountain bike – to contact the police on 101, quoting the reference number CVP-17-103202.”