It’s a sunny day in Edgewood, Washington, and the mail hasn’t long been delivered to Serg More’s house. But Serg is out at the moment, so he’s not there to pick up the parcels from his porch. Two women are around, though, and they sneak in to whip the packages away before he returns.
The parcels in question contain WWE belts that Serg has agreed to fix up – but these aren’t just any toys. You see, the belts belong to a sick kid, five-year-old Timmy Vick, who’s struggling with a brain tumor. And the autistic youngster may well be distraught when he finds out that the callous thieves have stolen his beloved mementos.
But the “porch pirates” have reckoned without modern technology. Yes, it turns out that Serg has a system attached to his door that lets him know when there’s movement at the front of his house. So, the artist is aware of what has happened – and he’s going to rush to do something about the theft, too.
Serg subsequently takes to the world of social media and puts out an emotional request for help. And before long, the women who’d thought no one had seen them tippy-toe onto Serg’s porch begin to realize that a whole load of people have learned about the pair’s theft from a sick child.
By that point, though, Timmy – who comes from Blades, Delaware – had already had plenty to deal with in his young life. His family had first discovered that he was living with autism, for example, when he was two years old. And it seemed that Timmy’s condition had only worsened over the passing years. He had been tough to cope with at times, too, despite the best efforts of his mom and dad.
It had been hard to communicate to Timmy, for one – not least because he didn’t speak to his parents. In addition, from time to time the young boy was prone to having severe emotional outbursts that his folks found very tough to subdue. Living with Timmy had involved a learning curve, then. And in recent times, things had become even harder.
In 2018 the family unfortunately received some shocking news that would end up changing their lives. A concern over the proportions of Timmy’s head led to an MRI scan, and this procedure in turn revealed a tumor. A further scan then followed half a year later, and Timmy’s worried parents waited to find out whether the tumor had grown.
Sadly, the new test confirmed that the tumor was now bigger. And worse news was to follow: the growth could be cancerous. Fortunately, the Vicks ultimately learned that Timmy’s tumor was benign. There would still need to be further investigations made, though, and the family faced the financial strain of paying for much of it.
In fact, the Vicks’ resources had already been put under enormous pressure. Dealing with Timmy’s special needs wasn’t cheap, and paying for his dietary requirements and equipment had left the clan in dire straits financially. Indeed, in June 2019 Timmy’s dad, Tim Sr., explained on Facebook that the family had been finding it hard to keep up with the outgoings.
To try to get on top of their financial issues, Tim Sr. even had to put his vehicle up for sale. And it wasn’t enough that both he and Timmy’s mom, Angel, had jobs, either, as they’d already had to sell pretty much all they owned just to keep food on the table for their four children. Nevertheless, there was one item for which the Vicks had been able to scrape together some cash.
And that one indulgence was Timmy’s replica WWE belts. Somehow, Timmy Sr. had squeezed out the bucks to buy them. Yet the belts were in need of a change that would make them even more special, and that would cost further money that the family didn’t have.
The belts weren’t just for decoration, though. No, Timmy adored them. And in June 2019 Tim Sr. told Washington TV station KIRO 7 what one of the accessories had meant to the youngster. “Whenever he went to sleep at night, he had the belt with him,” the dad explained. “He takes it everywhere. There is no separating Timmy from his belt.”
All of the Vicks love wrestling, in fact, but none of them is as big of a fan as Timmy. Tim Sr. explained to Delmarva TV station WBOC that Timmy particularly liked how much action went on in the sport. “Usually kids with autism have a problem concentrating and what not,” he said. And the five-year-old loved to get involved by wrestling with his own father and siblings.
So, when the Vicks bought Timmy a champ’s belt, they thought that they’d found a gift he’d absolutely go nuts for. The present may have even compensated a little for everything that he’d had to endure. But there were just a couple of small problems. You see, the replica that they’d purchased had stones that didn’t look very real; the plates in the middle weren’t quite right, either.
And the belt had already been expensive enough without any alterations; it had cost in excess of $1,000, in fact. What’s more, the Vicks had no idea how they’d get the money for the refit. But all was not lost. After some research, Tim Sr. found an artist who would do the work needed without any charge. All Timmy’s father would need to do was to send the belts off to Washington state.
The man who could help with the belts was the aforementioned Serg More – an artist whose work often involves revamping the belts that collectors buy. Tim Sr. explained the process to WBOC, saying, “The replicas have plastic stones, and [Serg] puts cubic zirconia on it, or the Slovakian crystals. The plates – there’s three individual plates on there. He stacks them, just like the WWE does. It’s twice as thick.”
So, a parcel with Timmy’s belts inside winged its way to Serg’s home in Edgewood. And while the artist had gone out to a show on the delivery day and his wife was also out of town, that shouldn’t have been a big deal. The mailman would just leave the parcel and another being delivered that morning on Serg’s porch for him.
Things would work out a little differently, however. As a video would later reveal, two women sneaked onto More’s porch and made furtive glances left and right. Seemingly satisfied that they were unobserved, they then snatched the parcels that had been left for Serg’s return. And in a matter of a few moments, the pair were gone – along with Timmy’s belts.
However, the thieves had reckoned without Serg’s security measures. Yes, his home safety set-up had not only captured the incident on video, but it had also immediately alerted Serg to what had happened. The artist therefore got straight onto the police to report the events, although it would take him some time before he could piece together where the boxes had originally come from. And Serg subsequently drove all around the neighborhood hoping to find discarded packages to help him figure the puzzle out.
Once Serg had contacted Timmy’s parents and learned that it had been their belts in one of the boxes, however, he was ready for action. “It lit the fire,” he recalled in a June 2019 YouTube video. The artist felt ready to blow a fuse, in fact, as he explained to WBOC. He said to the station, “When you take something and it belongs to a five-year-old child, living the life that Timmy’s lived so far – words can’t express how I feel for these people.”
And upon learning that Timmy’s family had contacted the media, Serg had an idea. He too would attempt to get help from the world of TV – and he had a video of the villains that he could share to boot. One Seattle station then rallied to Serg’s cause – meaning the two sneaky thieves were about to get more fame than they’d ever counted on.
In the meantime, the news of the theft had also begun to spread on social media. And one Facebook user replied to Tim Sr.’s appeal to help in strong terms. “I am shocked, saddened and angered by what has happened to you all, but I am going to make it a priority to lift you guys up in my prayers,” they wrote. “Boy, the world can be such a rough place. My heart goes out to little Timmy.”
And as it turns out, that Facebook commenter wasn’t the only person to be touched by the story. Not long after Serg’s video had made its appearance on the local news, in fact, someone came to visit. He even recognized the two people who approached him – because he’d seen their faces in his doorcam footage.
Yes, the thieves had returned to the scene of their crime. Serg knew them straight away, too. He said, “The two women who got out were definitely the ones who stole the packages off my porch.” And, he noted, they had had something to say. “[The pair] came over and put a bag in front of me, and the first thing out of their mouths was, ‘We are so sorry,’” the artist added.
The two didn’t just hand back the package that they had stolen, either. Along with the bag, they also gave Serg a note that expressed their apologies to Timmy and which began, “We are so sorry for taking your stuff.” The women also explained that they hadn’t known they had been stealing from a five-year-old.
One of the thieves claimed that she had a six-year-old of her own, in fact, and now she was left feeling desperate shame at the wrong she’d done. She further explained that she and the other woman were homeless and trying to make some fast money. “We never wanted to steal a child’s hope,” she wrote.
The would-be thief also told Timmy that she would come to him and say the same things. In addition, she expressed her feelings of embarrassment while recognizing that she deserved “all the hate of the world.” And, poignantly, she signed off with a request for the youngster: “Please find it in your hearts to forgive us.”
KIRO 7’s Gary Horcher subsequently expressed his astonishment at this turn of events on Twitter. “In 25 years of reporting, I don’t recall a response like this,” he tweeted. All in all, the thieves’ letter ran to four pages of apology and explanation. And the pair summed their feelings up by signing off with two words that they believed neatly described them both: “Two idiots.”
But if the thieves’ reappearance came as a shock to Serg, he was nevertheless soon able to regain his composure. And his response was a rather gracious one. “I actually thanked [the women] for bringing [the bag],” he informed KIRO 7. “I told them to get some help, and I gave them both a hug.”
And when the pink tote and the returned belts found their way to Tim Sr., he too was delighted. “I opened the bag, and I saw all [the belts] in there,” he told KIRO 7. “I just sat back and took a deep breath. It was just this immense feeling of relief.”
Yet while Serg didn’t have much interest in seeing the women charged with a crime, this wasn’t necessarily the end of the matter as far as the authorities were concerned. Indeed, the prosecutor for Pierce County – where Serg’s home can be found – would ultimately decide whether further action would be taken. And the cops definitely wanted the thieves to get in touch.
Yes, in June 2019 officers told the Wrestling Inc. website, “If you know who [the women] are, we are counting on you to also do the right thing and call or message the Edgewood Police Department.” The police were also anticipating how happy Timmy would be with the outcome, though. They added, “We can’t wait to see Sergio’s handy work after he completes these belts and ships them off to Timmy Vick, who is patiently waiting for them!”
As for the Vick family, they felt mixed emotions towards the alleged miscreants. Timmy’s mom and dad expressed some skepticism about the thieves’ remorse, for example. “If it was anyone else, would [they] have cared?” Angel remarked in an interview with WBOC. “[They] only care because he is a five-year-old special needs child.”
Now that the belts have been returned, though, Tim Sr. must get back to the grind of providing for his family. The bills from Timmy’s doctors have mounted, after all, while the family will also have to cough up for the expense of an operation on the tumor that’s ailing the youngster.
To help in finding the cash they needed, then, the Vicks reached out to wrestling fans on social media. And, happily, the donations flooded in, nearing $2,000 by the time the fundraiser had ended as people touched by the story of Timmy’s belts chipped in. The WWE itself even said that it could supply replacements for the stolen items before the news came that they had been returned.
It should be noted, though, that Serg isn’t the only Washington state resident with a CCTV system that has seemingly caught criminals red-handed. In 2018 Lizeth Ababneh of Bothell, WA, also fell victim to a sneak theft. However, on that occasion, the outcome turned out to be slightly more humorous – albeit not for the thief, whose embarrassing fall went viral.
When Alicia Treat allegedly decided to snatch some packages from Lizeth’s front doorstep, she no doubt intended to slip in and out unnoticed. While crossing the lawn, though, she took a tumble and hurt her leg. And the woman was left ruefully rubbing her injury until assistance arrived in the form of her male partner in crime, Brian Devere.
But although the couple did eventually manage to make off with the boxes, the cops subsequently caught up with the hapless pair. And even despite Devere’s extensive criminal record, the two at first pleaded not guilty. Perhaps realizing that the CCTV footage might take some explaining, however, Treat ultimately went on to admit her culpability.
It turned out to be a painful experience for Lizeth, too. One of the boxes had held medicines for her husband, you see, and insurance didn’t fully reimburse her for the stolen contents. So perhaps she could be forgiven if she agreed with fellow Bothell resident Jack Halter, who told Komo News in February 2018, “I’m sorry that [Treat] got hurt, but I’m also pleased that [she and Devere] got caught.” Halter also summed the incident up as “great karma.”
So, while it remains to be seen whether the belt snatchers will be prosecuted, at least they showed some remorse and returned what they’d stolen. And this left Tim Sr. feeling that he could “definitely forgive [the women].” The dad added to KIRO 7, “I just hope they learn from the experience.”