Town’s ‘Mr Mole’ overwhelmed with generosity as community rallies to help replace stolen quad bike

Ian Riches, who runs Pest Control Services in Beccles. Picture: Archant.

Ian Riches, who runs Pest Control Services in Beccles. Picture: Archant. - Credit: Archant

A Beccles man dubbed “Mr Mole” has said he is humbled and overwhelmed by the generosity of residents and businesses who donated more than £500 to replace his stolen quad bike.

Ian Riches, 58, who runs Pest Control Services in Beccles, is well known around the town for his work, and uses a quad bike to carry out his services.

However, after hearing the news that his quad had been stolen for the third time in four years, staff at Rosedale Funeral Home in Beccles decided to donate £50 towards a replacement, and act as a drop off point for anyone else who wanted to donate.

Now a total of £560 has been presented to Mr Riches, with donations coming from other local businesses and individuals.

Mr Riches said: “My first quad bike was my pride and joy and it was stolen from outside my house. I got the second one and after a couple of years that went as well, although I got it back in a real wrecked state as the police managed to recover it. Both times they were locked with a £400 chain.”

In the most recent theft, Mr Riches had parked his quad bike in the car park at Roys in Beccles. It was stolen at around 3pm on January 19.

He said: “After that I thought about chucking the job in because I had really had enough. But people told me they didn’t want to lose me, which was nice to hear.

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“Everyone that does mole catching uses a quad bike because it involves lots of driving across paddocks, fields and playgrounds so it makes it much easier to get around and it’s quite economical so it keeps the cost down.

“I love doing my job and I’ve met some really interesting people along the way.”

Mr Riches said he was overwhelmed with the reaction from the town.

“I feel very humbled. It really wasn’t something I was expecting and I’ve been overwhelmed with the public reaction. I would like to thank everyone who sent me kind messages and donated, it really means a lot.”

Mr Riches has put the money towards his new quad bike, which he picked up at the weekend.