Four Bulli boys whose scooters were stolen in a brazen daylight robbery are back on a roll thanks to the generosity of a Towradgi club.
Youngsters Jack and Max Brewer-McCabe and David and Alex Williams made a plea in the Mercury on Friday for the return of their scooters which were taken from the front yard of a Bulli home early last week.
A neighbour had seen the driver of what he thought was a scrap metal collection utility vehicle pick up the scooters and helmets which the boys had left on the front lawn while they went inside for lunch.
Mother of two of the boys, Shannon Brewer-McCabe, said a representative from Towradgi Park Bowls and Recreation Club was on the phone on Friday afternoon offering to help out.
On Saturday club secretary Ron Chinnock met with the boys and their parents at Illawarra Cycle Centre in Corrimal, and let them pick out four new scooters and helmets.
"It was the most amazing, wonderful piece of kindness and generosity - it brings tears to my eyes," Mrs Brewer McCabe said.
"All we wanted was to get the scooters back - we didn't expect anything like this. It's been an interesting learning curve for the boys who have seen the good and bad of humanity in a week.
"It was raining on Saturday but they still spent all day outside on their scooters - they're keeping them at the foot of their beds now."
Unfortunately the theft of the scooters is not all that unusual according to Sergeant Dave Grinter of the Wollongong Police Crime Management Unit.
"The scrap metal value has increased dramatically over the last two years, and there's been a corresponding rise in the number of crimes involving the theft of scrap metal," Sgt Grinter said.
"Scooters are made out of aluminium which is quite valuable, and though there's not that much metal in each one, it all adds up. We'd encourage kids to not leave scooters and bikes lying around on the footpath."
However Sgt Grinter said it was copper that was the big ticket item.
"We've made a number of charges over the theft of copper piping and wiring from new building estates or abandoned buildings in the last couple of years.
"Companies are erecting extra fencing and putting on additional security at new estates to deter thieves - in some cases they're even camping out at building sites."
Brett Axam, yard supervisor at Kembla Grange-based Sims Metal Management, said the company let police know if they received any suspicious offers.
"Police drop in from time to time and they'll let us know if there's been a particular theft - for instance we're keeping our eye out for the bronze sundial which was stolen from the Wollongong Botanic Garden recently," he said.
Those wanting to offload scrap metal need to provide identification.