Penketh firefighters have put a smile back on the face of a three-year-old boy who was left devastated by the theft of his dream Christmas present.
All little Bobby Marshall wanted for Christmas was an electric police motorbike.
He had been asking for it for six months and wanted his mum Victoria to take him out riding on the 12-volt BMW bike at all hours after receiving his perfect present on the big day.
However, the bike was stolen from their apartment block in Chapelford, Warrington, after it was broken into on Sunday 12 January.
Reading about the theft on social, and how it had left Bobby heartbroken, made Penketh firefighter Andy Jones determined to help.
He organised a whip-round at the fire station on Penketh Road, Warrington, and the staff raised enough money to replace the stolen bike.
Andy presented Bobby with his new electric police motorbike at his home on Tuesday 28 January.
Single mum Victoria, 34, said: “Bobby is so happy to have his beloved electric motorbike back and to be able to ride around on it pretending to be a policeman again.
“After asking for one for six months and with it being all that he wanted for Christmas, he was absolutely devastated when I told him that his present had been stolen.
“I took him out riding on it regularly after Santa had delivered the bike to him, but as I have mobility problems I am unable to take it back up to our apartment.
“I was leaving it in a communal area on the ground floor of the secure building and arranging for my kind neighbour Jessica Devon to bring it back up for us.
“Jessica put a post on social media about the theft, and a few weeks later Andy contacted me and said that he and his fellow firefighters based in Penketh had been so moved by the story that they had bought Bobby the exact same bike that he had lost.
“The bike costs £180 and I don’t know anyone at Penketh Fire Station.
“For strangers to have bought my son such an expensive bike has restored my faith in humanity.
“Yes there are people out there who will break into an apartment block and steal a young boy’s Christmas present, but there are also people out there who will do an extremely good deed for complete strangers.
“I tried to give Andy some money to contribute towards the cost of the bike but he refused to accept any.
“I can’t thank him and the other firefighters at Penketh Fire Station enough for what they have done.
“Not only do they save lives, they have saved our Christmas from being remembered as an unhappy one.
“I would also like to thank Jessica for all the help she has given us.
“Seeing my little boy smiling again as he was given the replacement bike was a really happy ending to a very upsetting past few weeks.”
Andy added: “Stealing a three-year-old boy’s new bike weeks after Christmas is truly disgusting behaviour.
“When I read about what had happened to little Bobby I immediately wanted to help him get his bike back.
“Thankfully we were able to raise enough money from a whip-round at the fire station to buy him a new electric motorbike.
“It was great seeing Bobby reunited with his dream Christmas present and we are delighted that he is a happy boy again.”