TWELVE bikes belonging to a team of injured servicemen and women were stolen the night before they were due to take part in a triathlon.

Team True Spirit was on a campsite at Go-by-Cycle in Somerford Keynes, preparing for the Cotswold 113, at Ashton Keynes yesterday.

The team, which is raising money for Help for Heroes and was using the event as preparation for the Ironman UK event, put out an urgent appeal on Twitter after the theft was discovered and thanks to fellow campers and local residents some were still able to take part.

Steve Ferries said: "Gutted. Team had our bikes stolen overnight. Need help to find them/those responsible."

In a statement Help for Heroes said: "We are looking for 12 bikes made by Bianchi, Specialized, Scott and others, some with water bottles still attached.

"They were taken around 0100 on June 15. The thieves would have clearly seen a Help for Heroes banner on the tent as they carried the bikes away - it was a moonlit night."

Team True Spirit was started by Help for Heroes fitness co-ordinator Mark Airey and its members are wounded or sick servicefolk and veterans from all over the country.