Gen­eros­ity reme­dies thieves’ mean­ness

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By PET­RICE TARRANT

Craig Lozell re­alised how low some peo­ple can stoop when his 6-year-old daugh­ter’s brand new bike was stolen out of their garage.

But what fol­lowed showed him just how far oth­ers will go to make it right.

Olivia Lozell used to leave her bike, her sixth birth­day present, out on the lawn all night.

‘‘One night I said ‘You need to put it in the shed or it will get pinched’,’’ Mr Lozell said.

That night Olivia lis­tened to her fa­ther but the ef­fort did not pay off.

The next morn­ing she went out to find her bike miss­ing.

‘‘We could see tyre tracks and foot­steps on the grass so we knew some­one had taken it over the fence.’’

Mr Lozell said he was fu­ri­ous and took to Face­book to let the rest of Toko­roa know how dis­ap­pointed he was.

‘‘It wasn’t an ap­peal, it was a show of dis­gust . . . how could some­one stoop so low and come on to some­one’s prop­erty and take some­thing that those peo­ple have worked so hard to get?’’

It was not long be­fore Mr Lozell re­ceived a pri­vate mes­sage from a woman in­sist­ing she help him and his part­ner Kelly Herek­i­uha re­place their daugh­ter’s bike.

Miss Herek­i­uha said the gen­er­ous woman had suf­fered a sim­i­lar prob­lem ear­lier in the year.

Her son’s bike had been stolen over- night and it was through Face­book that she got the mes­sage out and even­tu­ally had it re­turned.

‘‘I guess it’s the whole pay­ing it for­ward con­cept.’’

The woman told them to pick a bike out, which they did, and the next day they found a $200 de­posit had been made on it.

‘‘That was a huge help,’’ Miss Herek­i­uha said. ‘‘ That’s a lot of money, es­pe­cially at this time of the year.’’

The pair had other pri­vate do­na­tions en­abling them to re­place Olivia’s $300 bike, spend­ing less than $70 them­selves.

‘‘What they did, it didn’t break our stride it made us go harder. It showed us that the com­mu­nity is not all bad. There are gen­uine peo­ple out there will­ing to help oth­ers.’’

Photo: PET­RICE TARRANT

Early Christ­mas: Olivia Lozell, 6, thanks the gen­eros­ity of Toko­roa for re­plac­ing her stolen bike.

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