A group of porch pirates returned a stolen package of WWE belts that were meant for a sick 5-year-old boy and penned a heartfelt apology letter following public outcry.
The belts belonged to Timmy Vick, a boy with autism from Delaware who needs surgery to remove a dangerous brain tumor. According to the young boy’s father, Tim Sr., his son takes the wrestling belt with him everywhere and finds comfort sleeping with the accessory.
After Timmy’s father reached out to Sergio Moreira, a wrestling belt artist who refurbishes WWE replica belts with metal, leather, cubic zirconia and more, Moreira offered to decorate the sick boy’s accessory free of charge.
“When [Timmy’s father] sent me a message and asked me for help, he just was hoping for a discount,” Moreira tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Moreira, 50, has been restoring WWE replica belts to make them seem like the real champion belts for two years.
“I told him to just pay shipping and I would take care of the rest. I felt like it was the right thing to do for Timmy and his family. They have been through so much.”
The package with Timmy’s belts was delivered to Moreira’s home in Edgewood, Wash. on Monday. While Moreira was ringside at a WWE Raw show, an app on his phone alerted him that two women and a driver had swiped the package from his front porch.
Determined to make good on his promise for the sick boy, Moreira went to a local news station to bring attention to the story and Timmy’s illness.
“I want them to know they took hope from a 5-year-old boy who is looking forward to that item coming back to him,” Moreira told local news station KIRO7. “You stole that from him. You broke a child’s heart.”
Moreira went on television to plead with the unidentified thieves to return the package and the Edgewood Police Department also posted surveillance footage of the theft on their Facebook, leading community members to swiftly join the rallying cry to return the package to its rightful owner.
Just two days later, the thieves went to Moreira’s home to return the box with Timmy’s belts along with a emotional four-page apology letter.
“We are so sorry for taking your stuff. Never in a million years would I have expected I would have stolen from a sick five year old,” reads the apology letter obtained by Yahoo Lifestyle. “I have a 6 year old myself and am ashamed of what I did.”
Homeless and addicted to drugs, the women explained that they were just “trying to make a quick dollar.” After watching the news and realizing what they had done, the women decided to rectify the situation.
“We never wanted to steal a child’s hope,” reads the letter. “After seeing ourselves looking like low lives on the news, we have both decided to get clean and sober.”
Edgewood Police Department Chief Micah Lundborg says he was surprised but glad the outreach was effective.
“I think it says something about people deep down inside that they want to do right for themselves and their children. Hopefully, that carries on beyond just children and the whole community,” Chief Lundborg tells Yahoo Lifestyle. He adds that the Edgewood Police Department hopes to find the women to give them the help they need to get clean.
Moreira says the women were crying and seemed very sorry when they dropped off the package at his home. He gave them a big hug and told them he didn’t plan to press charges.
With the belts returned, Moreira plans to have it delivered to its rightful owner by next week.
“Timmy is going to have a belt of a lifetime,” Moreira says. “It will be something he can carry with him as a symbol of people coming together to right a wrong and it was all for him.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: