Villagers have rallied round to raise more than £1,000 to support a teenager who had her beloved new scooter stolen and torched just weeks after she got it.
The tight-knit community of Wilbarston has swung behind Summer Brown, 18, after she was cruelly targeted by thieves in Desborough.
Summer’s grandmother Jean Innes, 57, who looks after the art student, said: “We are seeing the two very different sides of humanity here.
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“On the one hand we have the toerags who stole poor Summer’s new moped and went on to set it alight.
“And on the other hand the fantastic people here in Wilbarston as well as right across our area are getting behind us all the time,” said Jean.
“Their response and their reaction to this wickedness has been phenomenal.
“And we want to thank each and every person who’s stepped forward to donate almost £1,100 to help us buy a new scooter for Summer.
"Thieves stole Summer's scooter and set fire to it.
“You have all been absolutely incredible.”
Jean said that Summer’s striking new red AJS A9 Flight 125 was pinched between 5pm and 6pm last Tuesday (October 26) in Alexandra Road, Desborough.
“I am effectively a single parent and I saved so hard for months to get the money together to buy Summer this bike.
“She’s in her second year studying art and design at Tresham College in Corby,” said Jean, who also cares for her 13-year-old grandson.
“We forked out about £600 for the scooter.
“Summer was so thrilled and so proud of it because it suddenly gave her the freedom to hit the open road.
“We don’t have any public transport living here in Wilbarston and she has to travel to college every day so it’s not easy.
“Summer popped in to see a friend of hers last Tuesday evening in Desborough.
“She parked up her new moped outside – and that’s when it was stolen,” said Jean, who made headlines in April 2020 as along with three friends she made vital PPE (personal protective equipment) kit for NHS workers battling Covid.
“We couldn’t believe that it had been taken.
“We rang the police straight away.
“Summer was so upset, she rang me in floods of tears.
“She had only been riding it for about four weeks and she’d just celebrated her 18th birthday a week last Sunday.
“We just couldn’t believe that these scumbags thought they could come along and steal something we had saved up so hard for so long to buy,” declared Jean.
“What on earth gives these people the right to do this to us?
“We were told that two lads were spotted riding the bike like idiots in Desborough last Thursday night.
“They were wearing hoodies and balaclavas, they’d covered up their faces.
“We immediately alerted the police.
“But nothing got done and just hours later the moped was found burned out in Desborough,” said Jean.
“So I rang the police again – only to be told that the case was closed and it was our responsibility to remove the destroyed scooter.
“So we are very disappointed with the police response.
“We feel they should have done a lot more to try to track down the bike and find the low lives who took it.
“There has now been another motorbike stolen and set alight in Desborough as well – this has got to be stopped.
“The last few days have been a real emotional rollercoaster.
“Summer’s been in bits, she’s been very up and down.
“She was over the moon to get her new moped – and it was so quickly ripped away from her by these mindless moronic vandals.
“Summer’s such a brilliant girl and works so hard at college as well as working part-time at our local pub here, the Fox Inn.
“I’ve got to know a lovely woman called Kelly Mercer through helping support our food bank here,” added Dundee-born Jean, who’s lived in Wilbarston for 10 years.
“She immediately launched a fundraising mission to raise the money to buy Summer a new scooter.
“It’s really taken off and gone through the roof.
“We can’t thank Kelly enough, she’s been amazing.
“Villagers have been posting donations through our letterbox, donating online and getting in touch to give us their support.
“They have just been magnificent – and they’ve restored our faith in human nature.
“I’ve seen a bike in Kettering that might be just the job for Summer, who’s so talented and wants to go into tattooing.
“So I’m hoping to buy that in the next week or two and get Summer back on two wheels – because if anyone deserves it she does.”
A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said they are urging anyone who has any information about the theft of Summer’s moped to call them urgently on 101.
“The moped was added to our ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras to flag if it was picked up by any of them.
“This was reviewed daily (with no hits) until the moped (AJS Flight in red) was sadly found burnt out in the early hours of Friday near Burdock Way (Desborough),” said the spokeswoman.
“An investigation into the theft and subsequent arson is ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact us quoting ref number 21000623731.
“Work does go on in the background on crimes like these.
“And I can reassure Jean and Summer that we were looking for the moped but unfortunately ANPR led to no viable leads.”
You can back the fast-growing campaign to buy Summer a new scooter by visiting Kelly Mercer’s fundraising page here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/attic-conversion-or-outside-storage-for-foodbank