Sergio Moriera recognized the vehicle pulling into his Edgewood driveway immediately.
"The two women who got out were definitely the ones who stole the packages off my porch," Moriera said, recalling the images of the theft recorded on his surveillance camera. "They came over and put a bag in front of me, and the first thing out of their mouths was, 'We are so sorry."'
In 25 years of reporting, I don't recall a response like this. The 2 women who stole boxes containing WWE replica title belts which belonged to a special needs child in DE returned them today, with a 4-page letter asking forgiveness. They saw this story: https://t.co/0Det3IzDjB pic.twitter.com/iWSvr8XBMH— Gary Horcher (@GaryKIRO7) June 27, 2019
The two, who saw news coverage showing the theft video the night before, also handed Sergio a handwritten four-page letter of apology, which said in part: "Never in a million years would I have expected I would have stolen from a sick 5-year-old. I have a 6-year-old myself and I'm ashamed of what I did."
Moriera said the surprising sudden return of two replica WWE title belts two days after they were stolen meant Moriera would keep a promise to refurbish the most-prized possessions of a 5-year-old boy with special needs in Delaware. Timmy Vick struggles with autism and needs surgery soon to remove a tumor from his brain.
"Whenever he went to sleep at night he had the belt with him," said Timmy's father, Timothy Vick Sr., who said the belt is a symbol of courage and confidence for his son. "He takes it everywhere. There is no separating Timmy from his belt."
Moriera is an artist who re-tools the collectors' belts with new leather dazzling stones and gold plating. After hearing Timmy's story, he promised Timmy's family he'd turn Timmy's belts into the same ones he saw his heroes hoist on TV, for free.
"I opened the bag and I saw all (the belts) in there and I just sat back and took a deep breath," said Vick. "It was just this immense feeling of relief."
The letters from the women described struggles with drug addictions, evictions and desperation for money. It went on to read: "I am embarrassed with myself, ashamed and deserve all the hate of the world. Please find it in your heart to forgive us."
It was signed: "Two idiots."
"I actually thanked them for bringing it," said Moriera. "I told them to get some help, and I gave them both a hug."
Moriera told police he was unwilling to press charges against the women. "They say it might be up to the Pierce County prosecutor," he said.
Vick said his family was also struggling with staggering medical bills and expenses related to Timmy’s nonstop medical care and upcoming brain surgery.
Did you see the story last night about Timmy & his stolen replica WWE championship belts?— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) June 26, 2019
GOOD NEWS - suspects did the right thing & returned the belts this morning
BAD NEWS - our deputies at @Edgewood_PD need your help to id the suspects
Case details: https://t.co/1OHM5nCi54 pic.twitter.com/govOFm9bOs
They have published a Facebook page, asking the pro wrestling community of fans for help. The WWE expressed interest in replacing the stolen belts for the family, before they were recovered.
"I definitely forgive them for taking the belts," said Vick. "I just hope they learn from this experience."
Cox Media Group