Children left heartbroken after their mini motorbikes were stolen say they have lost their hopes and dreams for the year.

A gang broke into a shipping container in Slade Farm in Butterfly Lane, near Radlett, in an organised raid and took £12,000 worth of mini motorbikes and quad bikes belonging to the four children.

During the break-in, which happened between midnight on Tuesday and 6am on Wednesday last week, the thieves also stole items such as personalised helmets and knee pads.

They cut open the locks with what appear to be angle-grinders to cut their way into the container.

Lee Aldridge, who owns the shipping container, stored his four children’s bikes in the shed and said he ‘felt sick’ when he arrived at work and saw the place had been ransacked.

He said Jasmine, ten, Maisie, seven, Aaron, five and Lily, three, who all live in Acme Road, Watford, were all still struggling to understand why someone took away their favourite hobby.

The 42-year-old added: "To see the twinkle in their eyes when they were on those bikes was just priceless. Thinking about their little faces when I broke the news still gives me a lump in my throat.

"Jasmine did not want to go to school because she could not stop crying when we broke the news to her.

"We had so many big dreams with those bikes - we had planned a summer holiday where we were going to take part in biking events but now that has all gone down the drain.

"The thieves not only stole their bikes - they stole their hopes, dreams and holiday for the year. They are animals with no moral fibre in their bodies."

No arrests have been made.