When the thieves learned they’d stolen a special gift for a boy with a brain tumor, they decided to make things right.
As WBOC reports, 5-year-old Timmy Vick Jr. was diagnosed with autism at age 2. With a family that enjoys wrestling, it’s no surprise that Timmy became a huge fan of WWE. The young boy even has a replica WWE championship belt that he carries around with him.
Timmy’s father, Timothy Vick Sr., told KIRO that the replica belt is a symbol of bravery and confidence for his son:
“Whenever he went to sleep at night he had the belt with him. He takes it everywhere. There is no separating Timmy from his belt.”
In October, Timmy was diagnosed with a brain tumor that will require surgery to remove. Despite the medical bills and other costs of their son’s care, Timmy’s parents wanted to do something special for their son. They contacted Sergio Moriera, an artist in Washington state who refurbishes wrestling belts to make them look more authentic.
You may have seen a story on the news last night about a theft in the City of Edgewood where two unidentified women…
Moreira adds cubic zirconia, metal plates, leather, and other elements to make WWE replica belts look like the real thing. When Timmy’s father contacted the artist for information about transforming his son’s beloved belt, Moreira offered to do the work for free. All Timmy’s family had to do was send him the basic replica.
Moreira told Yahoo News:
“When [Timmy’s father] sent me a message and asked me for help, he just was hoping for a discount. I told him to just pay shipping and I would take care of the rest. I felt like it was the right thing to do for Timmy and his family. They have been through so much.”
Unfortunately, when the replica belt arrived at Moreira’s home, he wasn’t there to receive it. While he was out, the artist was the victim of thieves, who stole the newly-delivered packages from his front porch.
Moreira contacted police, then shared the door-cam video that showed two women stealing the packages from his porch. He even went on television to make a plea to the thieves to return the belt. As he told KIRO:
“I want them to know they took hope from a 5-year-old boy who is looking forward to that item coming back to him. You stole that from him. You broke a child’s heart.”
The artist was so determined to get Timmy his belt that he had decided he would pay for a new one himself. But only a few days after his appeal went public, Moreira saw a car pull up to his house, and two familiar-looking women get out. He recalled to KIRO:
“The two women who got out were definitely the ones who stole the packages off my porch. They came over and put a bag in front of me, and the first thing out of their mouths was, ‘We are so sorry.'”
Inside the bag was Timmy’s replica belt. The two thieves also handed over a four-page apology, which read in part:
“We are so sorry for taking your stuff. Never in a million years would I have expected I would have stolen from a sick five year old. I have a 6 year old myself and am ashamed of what I did.”
In the note, the women explained that they were homeless and addicted to drugs. They had stolen the packages hoping to “make a quick dollar.” However, when they saw the story on the news, they decided to try to make things right. The letter continued:
“We never wanted to steal a child’s hope. After seeing ourselves looking like low lives on the news, we have both decided to get clean and sober.”
The note also asked if Moreira would “please find it in your heart to forgive us.” It was signed, “Two Idiots.”
Moreira said he “actually thanked them for bringing it. I told them to get some help, and I gave them both a hug.”
The artist told police that he wasn’t interested in pressing charges against the women and was told that it would be up to the local prosecutor.
Timmy’s mother told WBOC that she couldn’t help but wonder whether the thieves would have been so apologetic if the belt’s theft wasn’t public:
“They are sorry because they got caught. If it was anyone else, would you have cared? You only care because he is a five-year-old special needs child.”
Timothy Sr., however, told KIRO that he forgives the women for stealing the belt and hopes, “they learn from this experience.”
Moreira plans to get the finished belt back to Timmy as soon as possible. He told Yahoo:
“Timmy is going to have a belt of a lifetime. It will be something he can carry with him as a symbol of people coming together to right a wrong, and it was all for him.”