A 13-YEAR-OLD boy has been left devastated after a gang of teenagers attacked him in the street and stole his bicycle - which had belonged to his late father.

The boy was left battered and bruised after the thugs set upon him while he was on his way home alone after taking his daily exercise.

A family friend said the teen had been coming up a ginnel close to Reedley Drive in Reedley, near Brierfield, when the incident took place.

He said: “He’d just been outside for his daily exercise, alone on his bike, when he was stopped by a group of five males, all of whom he thought were teenagers.

“They pulled him off his bike and pushed him to the ground kicking him before they ran away from the area with his bicycle. His face is badly bruised, and he’s been left really shaken by the whole ordeal.”

“But this isn’t what has bothered him the most. The bike – which is probably only worth about £50 - had belonged to his late father who died suddenly around five years ago. The lad has only just about grown big enough to be able to ride it and this has happened.”

Now people are being urged to come forward if they know where the bike is, with a reward of £100 available for anyone who can guarantee its safe return.

The friend added: “The bike is a seven-year-old black “GT” mountain bike with the name “timberline” also on the cross rail.

“Of course, we want to catch the people who did this but that is a job for the police. Our main priority is getting the bike back. Anyone who can help with that can get in touch with us with the strictest confidence. He has been left totally devastated by the whole episode.”

A police spokesman has confirmed that an investigation into the matter has been launched after the robbery was reported to them.

A statement read: “At approximately between 7.20pm and 7.30pm on Friday, May 15, a 13-year-old boy was on his bike on his way home.

“He had been in a ginnel on Reedley Drive, when he slowed down to let five Asian males pass.

“The victim was pushed to the floor and assaulted by the group and his bike stolen.

“It is under investigation and anyone with information can contact us with a log number 1301 of May 15.”

Officers have since release descriptions of the suspects saying: "One had a fringe and a full facial beard. One was wearing black coat and joggers and had facial hair.

"One was wearing a red Adidas hoody and had facial hair- this was the male that pushed the victim.

"One of them was fat and had a black Northface sleeveless puffer jacket and had facial hair.

"The above males were approximately 6ft and were late teens to early twenties.

"One was wearing a dark grey matching tracksuit and had no facial har and was about 14-years-old."

The family friend added: “I would really appeal to anyone to come forward and help us if they can.”

Anyone who knows where the bike may be should e-mail lt_editorial@nqnw.co.uk.