A Tauranga student who saved for six months to gain his freedom is devastated someone has ripped it away in one cruel act.
Caleb Green gained his learner licence on his 15th birthday, June 29, and bought a $750 scooter last month.
But after four weeks of ownership, the scooter has been stolen.
The Tauranga Boys' College student has been left dispirited, particularly as his insurance policy does not cover theft.
The red 2006 TGB scooter, which he lovingly decorated in surf and skate stickers, was parked in the staff carpark at Brookfield New World on Thursday night.
A security guard last saw the scooter at 9pm and Caleb's shift finished at 10pm. It would have had to have been pushed or loaded on to a trailer or ute.
Inside the scooter compartment was a grey-blue Nike hooded sweatshirt, black leather gloves Caleb received from his mum for his birthday, and an Emerica green beanie. His black helmet was also taken.
Caleb's stepfather Tony Heien had worked on the bike. Along with personal items stolen, the family estimate the total cost of replacement to be near $1000.
His mother Maria Green said it was heartbreaking to see her son's hard-earned money go down the drain.
A studious Caleb has worked since he was 12. He had a cleaning job at the Bethlehem Medical Centre before moving on to the produce department at New World. He works two shifts a week and had been putting aside $50 a week to get himself wheels.
The scooter was his transport to work and school - Caleb lives in Otumoetai so is out of zone for Tauranga Boys' College on Cameron Rd. He told the Bay of Plenty Times he would have to save for at least six months to replace it.
"It's real low. I couldn't believe it. I saved up for so long and then it's gone. It's unfair on people that work hard, and then have their (property) ripped away from them."
Ms Green said the loss was "so disappointing".
"He's a really lovely boy and worked hard to appreciate what he had. He did it all himself."
Ms Green has driven around nearby streets hoping to catch a glimpse of the scooter, but so far has had no luck. The theft has been reported to police.
If you can help get Caleb's scooter back, call the Tauranga Police on 577 4300.