KIND-HEARTED businessmen have donated more than £100 of fishing tackle to an elderly man whose gear was stolen by burglars.

Mark Leonard and Dean Beach, who run the Masterbaits fishing store in Levellers Lane, Eynesbury, kitted out the 72-year-old victim, known locally as Richard the fisherman, following the theft.

Jackie Walkling, a friend and neighbour of Richard, had posted a status update on Facebook about the crime, which is how Mr Leonard came to hear about it.

He said: “Jackie put on Facebook that he had been burgled so we contacted her and said we would help.

“The two of us that run the business are both local lads and have known Richard for years.

“It was heartbreaking that his fishing tackle was stolen so we’ve given him £120 of gear. It doesn’t hurt to help.”

Mrs Walkling said: “Burglary is a problem in the area but Richard is particularly vulnerable. This is the second or third time he has been burgled but this time we haven’t been able to get his stuff back. Fishing is his life:, it’s his passion.

“The guys at Masterbaits have kindly kitted him out with brand new stuff and I would just like to say a big thank you to them. They have been very generous.”

Mrs Walkling said that as well as the new fishing gear, Richard had been given rods, reels and other equipment by neighbours and friends.

“Some people have even donated money,” said Mrs Walkling. “We’re going to use it to improve security for him. We’re going to buy a new door for his shed and install a security light.”

A police spokesman said: “We are investigating the theft of fishing equipment from a shed in The Crescent.

“Offenders broke into the shed between 1pm on Wednesday, June 8, and 8.30am on Sunday, June 12, before stealing various items including fishing rods, reels and nets.

“This incident has left the victim very upset and we are keen to trace the stolen items.”

INFORMATION: Contact police on 0345 4564564 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.