Thief steals three-year-old’s DVD player in Kettering

Sam Clipstone, three, and mum Elaine Short with the remains of his DVD player accessories

Sam Clipstone, three, and mum Elaine Short with the remains of his DVD player accessories

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A mum has hit out at a thief who stole her young son’s portable DVD player while they were shopping for shoes in Kettering.

Samuel Clipstone, three, was with his mum Elaine Short in Shoezone, in Newland Street, at about 1.30pm on Thursday, January 2, when the thief took the DVD player he had been bought just a few days earlier.

The theft was all the more heartbreaking for his mum as she had specifically picked a DVD player easy for her son to use, as he was born with a condition called Poland Syndrome which means he has an underdeveloped right hand.

The condition is the same as the one which late television presenter Jeremy Beadle was born with.

Miss Short, of Kingsley Avenue, Kettering, said: “I bought Samuel the DVD player on Boxing Day.

“He has a small right hand, and he is right-handed, so I had to pick one with small controls which he could use easily on his own.”

Samuel and his mum were trying on shoes in Shoezone when the DVD player was taken.

Miss Short said: “Samuel had really wanted to take it shopping with him so I had said yes.

“I couldn’t believe it when we realised it was gone.

“We probably took our eyes off it for just a minute and someone stole it.

“I can’t believe someone would steal something from a child like this in public.

He had only had it a few days and already loved it because it was something he could carry around and use easily despite his condition.

“The staff and security in the shop were really good and had a look around for it but they could not see anything,

“It’s very sad that someone would steal it when we were just a few feet away from where Samuel left it.”

The DVD player did not have a disc in it at the time of the theft and its batteries had run out.

There was also a remote control and carry case which were not taken.

Anyone who witnessed the theft or has information about it should phone Northamptonshire Police on 101.

Alternatively, phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Babies who are born with Poland Syndrome have no pectoral muscles, which in turn leads to underdeveloped hands.

The condition affects boys three times as often as girls and affects the right side of the body twice as often as the left side.

The condition was named for British surgeon Alfred Poland, who first identified it in 1841 – although it was not named after him until about 100 years later.