A cyclist fears he was followed in a Birmingham shopping park after a retro scooter was stolen outside a store

Thieves stole a retro scooter moments after it was left outside a store in a Birmingham shopping park, with the owner believing she was being followed. Kingstanding’s Larisa Patu drove her AJS Modena scooter to Princess Alice Retail Park in Sutton Coldfield on Tuesday (June 21) evening to collect food for her dogs.

She went to the Pets At Home store around 6.50pm and was ‘just a few minutes’ in the store when she came out to find her turquoise scooter was missing. She desperately searched for the scooter, sought security at the site and called the police, but to no avail.

Larisa thinks she was followed by some guys she spotted in a park in Kingstanding. She said people who saw them steal the motorbike said they also had a black scooter with them.

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The 33-year-old told BirminghamLive: ‘I had gone to the pet store to buy food for my dogs. I was literally three minutes. I got out and saw the space where I left the scooter and there was a car. I was shocked. I ran in the park. I couldn’t reach anyone from security there.

“I think I was followed. I saw this group of guys at Kingstanding. When I walked past them I thought it was weird with these guys.”

This retro AJS Modena scooter was stolen from outside Pets At Home at Princess Alice Retail Park in Sutton Coldfield, with the owner saying she was ‘followed’

Larisa continued: “I was told that the people who stole my scooter were between 14 and 17 years old, white, two or three of them and they had a black scooter. They were wearing black clothes.

“I called my husband who came to pick me up. I contacted the police who gave me a crime number for the insurance.”

Larisa, who works at Verona Café in Boldmere, says she searched for her scooter for “over 10 hours” on Wednesday with her husband and said people said they had seen it.

She was worried about the group that took him and said: “They are just children, but people said they might have knives. I don’t want to be stabbed. It’s stressful. It brought me a lot of stress.

“A lady who saw them said the scooter had been started. It worked. They are criminals. They knew what they were doing. I think it’s something they are used to doing. 100 per cent. They’re ready to do that kind of stuff.”

Larisa said the scooter was a “very distinctive turquoise color”. She had bought it on Facebook Marketplace for £1,200 around June 5 or 6 and then paid £500 for insurance. She said she also had a more expensive scooter in Italy but never took it. But within just over two weeks of getting one in the UK, it fell victim to thieves.

She said: “I’m Romanian but I came from Italy and lived in Milan for 20 years. I had a car and a scooter. I had a very expensive one and it never happened there.

“I think the park group did it. petty criminals.

Anyone with information is urged to contact West Midlands Police on live chat or by calling 101 quoting the crime reference number: 20/576117/22. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers, an independent charity, on 0800 555 111.

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