Faith restored for local mom after strangers replace stolen toys

Faith restored for local mom after strangers replace stolen toys

Zander Curtis, 2, cruises in his new ride-on donated by K’s Kustom’s Ride On’s, of Warwick, after his Christmas Power Wheels were stolen. K’s Kustom’s Ride On’s also donated a pink Cadillac ride-on to sister Aubrianna Curtis, 5, after her Power Wheels were also stolen from a locked shed.

SMITHFIELD – The kindness of strangers restored one Smithfield native’s faith in humanity after thieves stole her children’s toys from her locked shed.

When Sacha Curtis got the call from her mother on Jan. 8 that her children’s two Power Wheels were stolen from her shed, she was devastated.

Her mother, Margaret Austin, said robbers broke the lock on their tool shed, which sits behind her multi-tenant home, and stole the ride-on toys as well as her father’s hand truck.

“It’s scary. Someone came into our yard in the middle of the night to take from kids. I had to tell them what happened, it was a depressing thing to do,” Curtis said.

Curtis said she and her husband saved up and purchased a purple Kia Soul Power Wheels for their daughter, Aubrianna, 5, when she was younger, hoping it would last until their son, Zander, 2, grew older and could enjoy it, too.

Instead, Curtis said her mother surprised Aubrianna with a pink Barbie van for Christmas this year.

“I think she was more excited about giving it to them than they were about receiving it,” Curtis said.

Days before the robbery, the family reorganized the shed to make room for the ride-on cars. Earlier on the day of the robbery, the children drove on Mountaindale Road and Pleasant View Avenue.

“All our friends, family and neighbors knew we had them,” Curtis said.

After filing a police report with the Smithfield Police Department, Curtis said she remained doubtful the toys would be returned. At her friend’s advice, she began contacting local pawn shops to get the word out about the stolen goods.

Curtis reached out to K’s Kustom’s Ride On’s of Warwick, a Power Wheels and ride-on build, repair and customization shop, to let them know about the robberies as well.

Less than 24 hours later, K’s Kustom’s owners Rachel Ware and Joshua Mello returned Curtis’ call with a surprise: two new ride-ons for Aubrianna and Zander.

“It was so nice to be able to explain to my children that there are people in the world who help and that there are still nice people in the world,” Curtis said.

Ware said the company receives donations of unwanted ride-ons frequently, and pays it forward through donations to the community as often as possible. To her, the thought of thieves stealing the children’s Christmas rides was unacceptable.

After hearing the story, Ware and Mello said they had to act.

“We didn’t think it was right for kids to feel that way, especially around the holidays,” Ware said. “We wanted to help out and had the opportunity to do it, so we did.”

Ware said the company receives similar calls about stolen rides a few times a year, but none have been brought to them yet. She said the Kia and Barbie van Power Wheels are on the rare side, and will be easy to identify as belonging to the Curtis family.

“They are the nicest people, they didn’t have to do that for us,” Curtis said.

Living in Smithfield for 38 years, Curtis said she never felt unsafe or had an issue with robberies. Now, a piece of her sense of security has been stolen as well. The new ride-ons have been moved to a more secure location.

“How do you consciously take from kids? I would really love for these people to get caught,” she said.

The two Power Wheels stolen from the Smithfield residence.