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Thieves put brakes on cyclist's charity ride by stealing ride by stealing pounds 4k bike; Detective offers pounds 300 reward for cycle he hoped to use during ride to Paris.

Byline: Kathryn Williams

HE planned to cycle more than 450km across Europe on the only bike of its kind in the UK.

James Rabaiotti aimed to make the epic trip to Paris for charity this summer after buying his much-prized road bike for pounds 4,000. Each wheel cost pounds 1,000 alone when he bought the specially-made white and black Principia C24T Ellipse Integral for Christmas.

But the police detective had yet to ride his trophy two wheeler when it was stolen in a raid at his home.

The Danish carbon cycle was taken with two other bikes, worth almost pounds 6,000 in total, when thieves broke into his garage in Cardiff.

The crime's 39-year-old victim, who planned to cycle from London to Paris in aid of Action Medical Research in July, said: "I am devastated, it's really upsetting."

The break-in happened at Mr Rabaiotti's Pentwyn home in the early hours of Monday.

The intruders cut a small hole in the door and managed to open it from the inside. His bikes were hanging on the wall inside.

He said: "I checked the garage at 5.30am and found a hole had been cut in the garage door with what looks like a pair of pincers or a pliers with a sharp edge. They were very fastidious, the garage is locked and everything is secure - these people must have been determined."

Mr Rabaiotti, a member of AJAX cycling team, had yet to use the Principia he planned to ride to Paris because it is not the cycling season.

He told the Echo: "It was a real luxury, I'd saved up for a long time for it, and that was after doing a lot of research into it."

Also taken were a grey Specialized Allez Elite Racing bike with red and white trim, and a white Felt QX70 hybrid racing bike.

"I really want to get these bikes back," said the police officer, who is offering a pounds 300 reward for the bikes' recovery or any information leading to the thieves' arrest.

"I know how devastating it is from investigating burglaries myself."

The father of three added that his neighbour's garage on Marle Close, which like Mr Rabaiotti's is in the front garden, also had a hole bored into the door. The neighbour has CCTV footage of two men running away.

South Wales Police confirmed it is investigating and is appealing for any witnesses to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

CAPTION(S):

Policeman James Rabaiotti, of Pentwyn, Cardiff, outside the garage from where his bicycles were stolen. Below, his prize racing bike and the hole the thieves cut in the garage door during their break-in
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 12, 2010
Words:450
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