A Kettering charity shop worker was left speechless when colleagues bought him a new bike after a thief took his first while he was at work.
Siraje Kizito, 35, who lives in Barton Seagrave, was working at Extra Care, Gold Street, Kettering, on August 13 when he spotted someone trying to steal his bike.
However, Siraje was serving a customer at the time and did not want to leave the till open. By the time he dashed out of the shop the thief had used the bike to escape.
Siraje gave chase but lost track of the thief near Sainsbury’s.
So volunteers at Extra Care rallied round and presented Siraje with a new bike they bought with money from a collection.
C&D Cycles, in Montagu Street, helped out by giving the volunteers a 40 per cent discount.
Siraje said: “I feel totally overwhelmed with joy.”
Siraje moved to the UK from Uganda last November to join his wife and children, fleeing instability in his home country.
He began working at Extra Care in January to learn more about the British way of life, but has continued to volunteer there for three days a week even after finding work as a carer in Burton Latimer.
Extra Care manager Vanessa Camara said Siraje is a popular member of the team.
She added: “After they heard what had happened, everyone said they would give money straight away. In a way, the incident has made us all closer.”
Help catch bicycle thief
Northamptonshire Police are appealing for witnesses to the theft of Siraje’s bike, which took place at about 12.40pm last Wednesday, August 13.
The bike was stolen from directly outside the charity shop, which is in Gold Street, and had been attached to a sign post.
After stealing the bike the thief, who wore a dark hooded top, cycled away from Extra Care and towards Sainsbury’s.
Call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you have any information.