Page last updated at 09:00 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 10:00 UK

Car thieves 'left cyclist to die'

Stephen Wills
Police think Mr Wills could have been run over again as he lay in the road

Detectives in Manchester have appealed for help to trace car thieves who left a Moss Side man to die by the roadside.

Police also think he could have been run over repeatedly as he lay injured in the street.

Stephen Wills, 55, died after being knocked from his bike on Princess Road in the early hours of Saturday. He had head injuries and two broken legs.

The stolen Volkswagen Golf used in the incident was found abandoned and burnt out shortly afterwards, police said.

Three white men were seen running from the scene.

The car was discovered in Edward Sutcliffe Close. It had been stolen from outside a house following a burglary on Everett Road on Friday night.

'Cowardly thieves'

Officers want to trace the movements of the car from when it was stolen to being involved in the collision that killed Mr Wills.

Friends paid tribute to Mr Wills calling him a "kind-hearted, helpful and loving man" and said he would be badly missed.

The person who called police told officers they had seen people driving around Stephen as he lay on the road.

A post-mortem examination showed that he died as a result of head injuries, but that he also had two broken legs which could have been caused by being run over by a car.

Det Insp Terry Crompton said: "It is absolutely clear to me that there are people who could have witnessed this collision. We want to hear from them.

"A man who clearly had a lot to offer people, and was dearly loved by his friends, has lost his life at the hands of some cowardly thieves."

Cyclist is killed in hit-and-run
12 Apr 08 |  Manchester

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