Concord, California – A shiny, red “Mercedes” and a pink, replica police car were swiped in recent days from a front yard in Concord, leaving the owners —three little girls — in tears.
After a ride around the block in their new, motorized kiddie-cars, paid for, in part, by lemonade-stand sales, the youngsters went in their house to cool off, leaving the toys out front and unattended.
“That day was very hot, so we came in for drinks and, as their mother, I feel horrible this happened because I wish I had paid more attention or went back outside to make sure they brought them in, but they’re kids,” the girls’ mom, Zaida Rivera, said. “When we came back out, my daughters were in tears when they didn’t see their cars out front, and it was a whirlpool of emotions for us, all.”
And not only are the mom and her daughters upset, so is the Concord Police Department.
“PLEASE help us get these cars back to their rightful owners,” police said in a social media post. “As kids sometimes do, they forgot to put their toys away before going inside their home on Thornwood Drive. When the kids came back outside a few hours later, they were devastated to find that both new cars were stolen.”
The vehicles are described as a red, two-seater Mercedes Benz AMG G63 and a pink police car with red and blue lights.
The cop car was selected specifically by one of the girls, who wants to be an officer when she grows up, Rivera said, adding that another’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in after the theft.
“My little one wants to go back out and set up her lemonade stand, but with this heat and smoke, it’s not going to happen, as I don’t want to expose them to the smoke and trigger their asthma,” she said.
The summer has proved a trying one for the Rivera family, as many throughout California can likely relate, with the juggling of the teen son’s distance-learning, plus the disappointment of canceled birthday parties and outings.
“The kids don’t need this right now, and with this whole pandemic, it has made it hard for us to entertain them or do anything fun,” she said. “We can’t even go to the park down the street because it’s closed! Having these little cars for them was their joy and life.”
Concord Police Department Facebook followers, touched by the heartless crime, encouraged Rivera to set up an online fundraiser to help replace the vehicles.
“Get a GoFundMe page for them, up to the value of the items, (and) I will donate,” a reader wrote.”I would like to donate some if their cars cannot be recovered,” one said, with another adding: “How anyone can steal from a CHILD is beyond me.”
A GoFundMe fundraiser, “Let’s Get Their Rides Back,” was, indeed, established this week, raising, to date, $537 toward its $600 goal.
“We hope that we can come together and make this happen for them, since they worked their butts off with their lemonade stand to get their little cars,” Mama Rivera wrote. “It really takes a village, and I’m grateful to those that have and are reaching out to help.”
UPDATE: AUG. 27: Rivera now has closed the GoFundMe donation-effort as it reached $620 of its $600 goal. “Thank you all for your help and donations to get the girls back on the road! I’m closing the fundraiser,” she wrote. “Thank you all for making it possible. My heart is full by all of you and our beautiful community that has come together to help bring the girls their joy back that someone tried to take and, on top of it, the trust back in our community. This means a lot and I am very grateful for you, all! I couldn’t have done it without you! Many thanks and God Bless!!”