WELL-WISHERS have swamped police with calls offering to help a boy whose walking frame was stolen by a scrap metal thief.
Officers say they have received calls from people who wanted to help pay for a new walker for six-year-old Aston Muff after his frame was snatched from his home in Harleston Road, Wymering.
Police thanked the public for the response – but said what they really wanted was to be contacted by anyone with information about the theft.
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘We would like to thank members of the public from across the country for their tremendous response.
‘We’re continuing to investigate and remain keen to hear from anyone with information about the theft.’
Aston, who has cerebral palsy, was left devastated after the theft and Aston’s mum Susan had to borrow another frame from the Child Development Centre, in Milton, until she had the £150 to purchase a new one.
A total of £1,570 was raised by generous readers of The News after Aston’s plight made front page news. Mrs Muff has asked for all surplus donations to be split between the Child Development Centre and disabled charity Enable Ability, in Copnor.
Meanwhile, one of the biggest scrap dealers in the UK has said the frame would have fetched the thief no more than £10.
Derek Campbell, of Sims Metal Management, a national firm with branches in Hampshire, said: ‘If anyone turned up with something like that, which was clearly identifiable as a walking frame, no reputable dealer would buy it without asking a lot of questions first.
‘But the problem is that whoever took it could’ve bashed it up beyond recognition and then it’s just a piece of aluminium.’
Anyone with any information should contact PC Steve Galmoye-Webster at Southsea Police Station by calling 101.