Priceless trophies snatched in robbery at National Motorcycle Museum
Priceless trophies were snatched and thousands of pounds worth of damage was done when thieves smashed their way into the National Motorcycle Museum overnight.
The robbers left a trail of destruction and fled with a haul of invaluable trophies – some of immense historical value to the industry and motorsport.
Museum chiefs are still putting together a catalogue of items missing following the robbery and have offered a substantial cash reward for anyone information leading to the recovery of the haul.
It is thought the list of trophies, which were taken from glass cabinets situated in the foyer of the museum at Coventry Road, Solihull, include world championship prizes and items of immense historical value.
James Hewing, museum director, said the value of the trophies could not be measured in cash terms because many were irreplaceable. He appealed to anyone offered any of the stolen items to contact police.
He said: “We are desperate to have the trophies returned as soon as possible. The robbery was a rough job and a lot of damage was done.
“Although the trophies may not have much meltdown value in metal terms, they are priceless when it comes to the heritage of the sport and the rich motorcycle heritage of the UK.
“We will offer a substantial reward for information that leads to the safe return of all of the trophies.”
Many of the cups and shields were donated or loaned to the museum by leading motorsport figures.
Most were silver and inscribed with details of the owner, so it is thought the thieves targeted the haul to melt down.
Adrian Rogers, the owner of Stafford-based 21st Century Glaziers, was called to the museum just after midnight to board up entrance panels smashed by the raiders as they broke in.
He tweeted pictures of the ruined display cabinets in the hope of boosting the search for the stolen trophies.
Mr Rogers said: “Vast numbers of trophies from years gone by were taken.
“It appeared three or four cabinets were targeted.
These items were on display for people to enjoy and the people from the museum were distraught.
“I tweeted the pictures in the hope that the power of social media would help the trophies be returned.
“They may well be melted down but all motorbike enthusiasts would want to see them back where they belong.
“I feel for them – people enjoy these things and pay money to see them.
“They would be hard items to sell because they are one-offs.”
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said officers found windows to the museum shop had been smashed but the offenders had not been able to gain access to the main premises.
Forensic investigators are examining the scene.
The National Motorcycle Museum will be offering a substantial reward of £20,000 for information which leads to the safe recovery of these important artefacts.
Anyone with any relevant information is asked to call West Midlands Police on 101 – or The National Motorcycle Museum on 01675 443311 or email Museum Director James Hewing email@example.com.