City family upset over scooter theft

    The O'Neill boys (back, from left) Finn (8), Niall (6), Lachlan (9) and Ryan (14) are not impressed with the bully who stole Ryan's new electric scooter which was a birthday present from his grandfather.

    EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Flynn O’Neill is now terrified to venture outside by himself after he was mugged and left in tears last week when a teenage boy stole off with his brother’s new electric Segway scooter.

    Flynn and his brother had been playing on the street, taking turns at having a ride on their older brother Ryan’s new electric scooter.

    Kirsten O’Neill thought her two sons, aged 8 and 6, would be safe playing outside their Richmond address by themselves for a minute while she nipped inside.

    But she returned to find her 8-year-old son sitting at the corner in floods of tears after being bullied by an intimidating stranger who took the scooter.

    The scooter was Ryan’s birthday present from their grandfather in the North Island and is believed to be valued at about $1500.

    “He’s [Granddad] pretty p*ssed off about it being stolen.”

    The Segway scooter was quite distinctive because of its size which was suitable for older children and adults.

    The Richmond suburb had a nice community of older people as well as children around them, she said.

    “You think your kids are going to be happy outside – but not really.”

    She urged parents to stay with their children while they are playing.

    “Be aware of who is around the area.”

    Her husband Matt quickly tried to search the neighbourhood to track the scooter down, but with no luck.

    “We moved down here from Christchurch seven years ago because we didn’t think there would be that kind of stuff happening down here.”

    The teenage thief, with dark hair, black hoodie and pants was also carrying a distinctive skateboard which had white wheels and a snake on the bottom side, Mr O’Neill said.

    Mrs O’Neill was surprised at how quickly the thief had got away or how far they went as there was only a 25% charge left on the battery.

    Inquiries were made around the neighbourhood and via social media and it was discovered an elderly neighbour had witnessed the incident.

    There had been sitings of the thief in the vicinity of the East End Liquor store and 24-hour dairy on Lindisfarne and Tay Sts.

    She is hoping the scooter will turn up dumped somewhere so it could be returned as an insurance claim was not a feasible option. Mr O’Neill hoped people would keep an eye out for it around their property because they would prefer to have the gift returned since replacement wasn’t an option.