Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
John Gillespie

Terminally ill tourist has motorbike stolen in Edinburgh on the same day he arrived

An American tourist with a terminal lung condition had his motorbike stolen less than 24 hours after arriving in Edinburgh.

Brett Anderson, an airline pilot from Virginia, came to the capital on a motorbike tour of Europe while he was still well enough to ride. However, after coming back from dinner with a friend, he found his bike had been stolen less than a day after he arrived.

The 55-year-old was recently diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and decided to “fulfil some bucket-list” rides while he was still well enough to do so. The pilot has always ridden motorcycles and had a dream of biking around Europe.

READMORE: Edinburgh psychiatric hospital upholds over 1000 complaints from concerned family members

With a bike he purchased earlier in Ireland, he set out from Lisbon and toured over 500 miles and 12 countries across Europe before ending in Edinburgh with his wife. While the two had previously been to Scotland, they had always hoped to see the Highlands.

However, on the same day they arrived, the bike was stolen by local yobs. The couple were out to dinner in the New Town and when they returned to the hotel they found the bike missing, despite it being chained to a lamp-post and having the steering locked.

We spoke to Brett, who said: “I called my friend just after to talk to him and ask how to call the police, he told me to call 101 for non-emergencies. It took maybe a half hour for them to show up - 20 minutes to half an hour.

“He took all the information of the bike and where we had it parked but they said it happens a lot and he didn’t really say if there was a chance to recover it or not. They didn’t really offer any hope or say anything. They just said they would look for CCTV. There were some cameras at the hotel but we couldn’t see the bike from those cameras because it was so far down from the hotel.

“Yeah we didn’t really know what to do. We considered staying for a few extra days but in the end the hotel was really expensive because of the fringe and we weren’t in a festive mood so we just ended up getting a last minute flight.

“We even considered renting a bike but really we weren’t in the mood. It’s hard to explain but sometimes you get attached to a machine and I’ve been through so many adventures on that bike. I loved it, my wife loved it and we were just kind of heartbroken.

“I especially couldn't believe it because I took all the proper precautions. I Left it in a well lit area, it was busy but not too busy. There were people around. I thought thieves wouldn’t try to nick it if it was in a well lit area with people.

“I locked it with a big chain and locked the steering. All the conventional wisdom was that if thieves are looking to steal something, if it’s hard for them to steal it then they’ll move on.

“It wasn’t like it was a £30k bike that they would really want. It was a nearly 20 year old sports bike, worth £4k or £5k at the most.”

The incident ruined the trip for the pair of them and, despite support from the Edinburgh biking community, they chose to go back home and hopefully return to Scotland another time. However, Brett said he was nevertheless deeply touched by the kindness shown to him by the bikers in the capital after the incident was spread around on social media.

Brett said: “The outpouring of support from the bike community in Edinburgh has been amazing. I had strangers writing to me on Instagram giving me their support, offering to loan me their bikes if I wanted to continue, offering me places to stay. That really touched my wife and I of how supportive people were.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said : "Officers are carrying out enquiries after a motorbike was stolen from Rutland Street in Edinburgh on Thursday, 25 August, 2022.

The theft is believed to have occurred between 6.30pm and 11.30pm. Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting 0147 of 26 August."


Edinburgh man rushed to hospital following attack as police launch investigation

Edinburgh computer experts struggles to pay bills despite bringing in a decent wage

Edinburgh sex offender found guilty after victims came forward to report crimes

Edinburgh nurse left disabled down one side of her body after shock MS diagnosis

Edinburgh dad dies "of a broken heart" eight weeks after losing his wife

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.