A 12-YEAR-OLD boy has been left gutted after his pride and joy, the pushbike he spent years saving for, was stolen.
Joel McKenzie and his Eynesbury family have been coming to Echuca-Moama every weekend over summer for the past seven years, staying at Maiden’s Inn Holiday Park.
And on Monday night, while the family went out for dinner, thieves stole Joel’s Avanti Torrent 7.1 dual suspension mountain bike and his mother’s green Avanti mountain bike from outside their cabin.
‘‘He’s absolutely gutted. He is beside himself,’’ his mother Desiree McKenzie said.
Mrs McKenzie said her son was fanatical about his bike and spent two years saving the $2000 needed to buy it.
‘‘He would spend weekends doing jobs, cleaning wheelie bins for $2, cleaning houses and doing odd jobs,’’ she said.
‘‘Joel is the kind of kid that just works hard for what he has. He has gone without presents for birthdays, christmas, and parties.
‘‘He was just fanatical about his bike. It was his absolute pride and joy. This has just broken his heart.’’
Mrs McKenzie said normally they would lock up the bikes when they went out, but because they were in a rush she placed a water biscuit over the top of them.
‘‘We left about 5.30pm and when we came back an hour and a half later, they were gone,’’ she said.
‘‘Joel went crazy trying to look for it. All the locals and people staying at the park helped us look too because they know how much of a bike kid he is.
‘‘It’s really tainted our experience. I’ve always considered Echuca-Moama my second home and this has made me really sad.
‘‘I am simply sad because some of his innocence and his view of the world has changed. You try to teach your kids the right morals and about trust and then this happens.’’
She urged people to spread the message in the hope Joel’s bike could be found.
‘‘I don’t care about mine. I just want Joel’s bike returned,’’ she said.
‘‘As a mum, I would do anything to get it back. He is just such an outdoors kid.
‘‘Please, if you have seen or heard of someone trying to sell it, I beg you call Moama police. If you have the bike, just drop it off at our porch and help restore some of the faith we have lost.’’
Moama police are investigating and urge anyone with information to contact them on 54820099 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.