If you ask Sergio Moriera, when two women were caught on camera swiping boxes from his porch Monday, they also “stole hope” from a 5-year-old Delaware boy who struggles with autism and needs surgery to remove a dangerous brain tumor.
Inside the boxes were two replica WWE pro wrestling championship belts belonging to Timmy Vick, a boy who sleeps with the belts as a comforting symbol of courage, according to his father, Tim Sr.
“There’s a lot of belt collector groups on Facebook,” Moriera said. “This family saw my work.”
Moriera is a wrestling belt artist who charges collectors for his dazzling craftsmanship—re-tooling replica championship wrestling belts.
He replaces cheap plastic and vinyl with leather, metal and even gold-plating, and studs the buckles with cubic zirconia faux diamonds.
“The belts are heavier and thicker, so it feels like the real thing,” he said.
“(Timmy’s) father doesn’t make a lot of money,” Moriera said. “But he wanted to give his son an amazing gift, and I told him I would do everything for free. I said, ‘Just ship it over and I’ll do everything you want on the belt, and he’ll have the belt of a lifetime.’”
On Monday, June 24, Moriera was ringside at a WWE Raw show at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, when his phone alerted him to the theft.
“I got a message on my phone that my ring doorbell motion camera had activated, and I saw them taking the boxes, Moriera said.
The boxes containing the two collector’s belts had just been shipped to Moriera’s porch from Delaware.
The video shows two women, one older and one younger, being dropped off by a getaway driver and swiping the boxes off the porch.
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,” he said. “You stole that from him. You broke a child’s heart.”
Moriera says he’d gladly take the belts back without pressing charges. He says he’s determined to make good on his promise to a little boy facing a “body slam” of challenges.
“If I have to, I’ll take money out of my own pocket, get a new belt and do everything I said I was going to do for him, “Moreira said.
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