A blind cyclist whose specially adapted machine was stolen while he stopped for a break during a ride has praised police after being reunited with his bike.
Nadeem Mughal, 52, from Yarm, Teesside, is passionate about getting out on the roads with his cycling partner and was angry when his £2,000 tandem was taken from outside a supermarket in Billingham where they had stopped to refuel.
The pair had been on a ride to Hartlepool and were on the way back when they took a break, locking the cycle when they left it.
Cleveland Police were able to reunite Mr Mughal with the tandem after they found it while carrying out a drugs raid in Middlesbrough.
It was discovered inside an address, along with other suspected stolen bikes.
Five people were arrested on suspicion of drug supply offences, and one was also arrested on suspicion of theft. They were bailed pending further enquiries.
Mr Mughal said: “I was shocked and angry when my bike was stolen. Bikes give me enjoyment and normality because I am blind.
“It has been amazing in improving my fitness and confidence.
“I never thought I would see the bike again.
“I am so grateful to the officers and Cleveland Police for getting it back for me.”
Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Police Team’s Sergeant John Sproson said: “It was fantastic to be able to return Mr Mughal’s bike.”