Heidi's new moped goes up in smoke

By Craig RobinsonWHEN Heidi Brown was given a shiny new moped by her father, she had no idea that it would end up causing so much trouble.For her Taishan Sport moped sparked a bomb alert that led to delays throughout Ipswich town centre - and ended with her new £1,000 scooter being blown up by the bomb disposal squad.

By Craig Robinson

WHEN Heidi Brown was given a shiny new moped by her father, she had no idea that it would end up causing so much trouble.

For her Taishan Sport moped sparked a bomb alert that led to delays throughout Ipswich town centre - and ended with her new £1,000 scooter being blown up by the bomb disposal squad.

Ms Brown, 22, left the scooter in the car park of St Clare House, in Greyfriars, Ipswich on Friday night so staff at the DVLA offices, which are in the building, could inspect it on Monday morning so it could be registered.


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But at 7.30am Suffolk police received a phone call from staff worried that a “suspicious” moped without registration plates had been parked outside their offices.

Nearby buildings were evacuated and the Army bomb disposal unit from Colchester were called out to carry out a controlled explosion of the scooter.

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The incident caused delays for motorists trying to reach the town centre as police diverted traffic away from the Civic Drive area until noon on Monday.

Ms Brown's fiancé, Robert Plumb, 23, said yesterday: “Heidi was bought the moped by her father so that she could get started working as a home help carer.

“It was brand new and was going to have its engine and chassis numbers checked by the DVLA before the registration documents were handed over. That's why there were no registration plates.

“Since Monday all the paperwork has come through telling us that it is now okay to use the bike, but obviously we don't have it any more.

“In fairness, I know it's a Government building and I can understand why they had to blow it up, but Heidi was told that it would be okay if she left it there.”

Mr Plumb, who lives with Ms Brown in Mill Road, Purdis Farm, Ipswich, said his fiancée had checked with a security guard before leaving the scooter in the car park because she was worried that it might be stolen.

He added: “The moped was worth £1,000 and so Heidi was worried that if she left it overnight it might get stolen.

“She asked a security guard who was in the car park and he said that it would be fine to leave it there chained up.

“What's annoying is that no-one from the DVLA checked to see why it was there and jumped to the wrong conclusion. You just would have thought that someone would have had the sense to double check.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said they had acted out of concern for public safety.

“We were called to a suspicious moped without any registration plates and no-one knew who it belonged to or why it was there. A judgment had to be made in the interest of safety for the people working in the area.”

Mapeley, the company responsible for the security at St Clare House, was unavailable for comment last night.

craig.robinson@eadt.co.uk

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