A SCHOOLBOY has had his bike stolen in Waterfoot.

The 13-year-old Haslingden youngster had stopped outside Texaco petrol station, in Bacup Road, when he was approached by a man asking for a cigarette, police said.

After telling the 5ft 6’ white man he did not have any, the man demanded the youngster hand over his bike.

Fearing what might happen if he didn’t, the teen handed over his bike and the thief jumped on it and pedalled away towards Rawtenstall.

However, after just a few moments on the bike, the chain snapped and the thief was forced to dump the bike allowing the youngster to get it back.

The incident happened on Wednesday, around 4pm. The thief is described as having mid-brown hair, and was wearing a white T.shirt, grey hooded top, and dark tracksuit bottoms.

Police are now appealing for witnesses as there may be a link with a similar incident in Rawtenstall’s Whittaker Park on Tuesday.

During that incident, a Fearns Technology College pupil was forced to hand over his watch and money after he was followed by a man in a hooded top.

DS Mark Gillibrand, of Rossendale CID, said: “At this stage, it is too soon to say whether the incidents are linked, but it is a line of inquiry.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0845 1 25 35 45, or Crimes-toppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.