Tears of joy filled the eyes of a larger-than-life Warilla pensioner on Thursday afternoon when police officers returned his stolen mobility scooter.
Antonio Martin, aged 74, was overcome with emotion after a Good Samaritan also donated Parramatta Eels memorabilia including a warm scarf, drink bottle holder and a wooden Eels logo.
A man had dropped off the items in an effort to replace Mr Martin's beloved rugby league team's scarf that was also stolen during the break-in last week.
"I am laughing and happy now," he said. "I was miserable the past couple of days, really very upset. But now I'm happy.
"People have been very helpful and good to me."
Mr Martin said it was "unbelievable" someone would gift him with Eels memorabilia.
"It would have been so expensive. I can't believe it," he said. "I have no words to describe how much I appreciate the gift.
"All I can say is thank you very much to the police and the person who gave me the scarf."
In the early hours of July 1, an unseen thief slipped inside Mr Martin's Lake Windemere Caravan Park home while he and his friend Peter were sleeping.
The wallet was plucked from Peter's pocket and the scooter key was taken from a hook.
The next morning, Mr Martin was left feeling broken-hearted when he discovered his mobility scooter, along with the charger, had been stolen from the carport.
The pensioner, who has had two hip replacements, used his skills as a boilermaker at the Port Kembla Steelworks to create a working scooter from two cheap ones, which allows him to get to the shops and to medical appointments.
"The people who stole it have no soul, no heart. They had no respect," Mr Martin said.
He still felt in danger and scared after the break-in.
Officers from Lake Illawarra's anti-theft unit are still trying to locate the missing scooter key.
"That would be really good," Mr Martin said. "It would save me the money needed to get a new key. A friend will give me a charger so I can use the scooter."
Sergeant Scott Abbott said it was a great feeling to be able to return the scooter to Mr Martin.
"Given Mr Martin was unable to retrieve it himself, we borrowed a ute and were able to get it to him ourselves," he said.
"It was fantastic to see the joy on his face and it was great to be able to help and give something back to him in these times."
Cousins Melissa and Tracey Butler were arrested on Saturday at a home in Barrack Heights and charged with aggravated break, enter and steal.
Police allege the women entered Mr Martin's unlocked caravan about 3am last Wednesday before driving away on the scooter.
The women are yet to enter any pleas and will return to court later this month.
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