A CIRCUS visiting Gravesend this weekend has been forced to cancel its star act after thieves broke into the big top and stole three motorbikes worth £7,000.

The final act at Uncle Sam’s American Circus, which is performing at the Riverside Area in Ordnance Road until Sunday, is the daredevil Medina Riders in the Globe of Death.

Three motorbikes are driven by South American riders around the metal globe at one time at speeds of up to 40mph during the hair-raising act.

But this morning, circus staff were “gutted” when they found thieves had broken into the circus tent overnight and stolen the three bikes used for the act.

A £1,000 cash reward is now being offered by the circus for the return of the bikes, which have been used on the show for the past two years.

Ringmaster Paul Martinez told News Shopper: “I got up this morning to open the ticket office and the tent was sliced open down the side exactly where the globe was.

“The bikes were locked up in the globe as they always are and the thieves had broken the lock off.

“It is gutting really. Obviously there is the financial side of things but it also affects the show.

“The riders are gutted as well because they can’t work.”

The 29-year-old, who says thieves have never before targeted the high-value bikes, added: “They knew what they were looking for.

“They have taken from people that are coming to see the show but they are also taking away people’s livelihoods and people don’t think about things like that.

“If people could just be honest and make a living like everyone else did the world would be a better place.”

News Shopper reporter Alan Woods previously took to the globe himself, where Mexican rider Abraham Medina showed him what it was like be part of the act.

A Kent Police spokeswoman this morning confirmed the theft of three circus bikes had been reported to them at 9.13am and officers are investigating.

Performances will go ahead as planned at the circus, which features a host of other daredevil acts including the flying trapeze and the Wheel of Death.

Anyone with information should call the circus on 07407 624986.

Visit americancircus.co.uk.