Girl, 10, heartbroken as £500 e-scooter she uses to get to school stolen from Dimensions

Schoolgirl Frankie Heath has been left heartbroken after her e-scooter was stolen from a leisure centre while she went for a swim. The 10-year-old had parked the scooter inside Dimensions in Tunstall on Saturday (April 27).

But when she came out of the changing rooms with her friend, it was nowhere to be seen. Frankie had been bought the e-scooter for Christmas by her older siblings, who thought it would give her a mode of transport so that their disabled mum, Sharon Graham, wouldn’t have to run her around.

They had spent nearly £500 on the Zinc folding electric eco max 3.0 e-scooter from Very.

The Burnwood Community Primary School pupil, from Stanfields, used the e-scooter to get to school, which takes her about an hour on foot, as well as using it to see her pals. She would also ride the scooter to the shops to pick up food and household items to help out her mum.

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Sharon said: “When Frankie first discovered the e-scooter had been taken, she called her brother who went to Dimensions and asked reception staff to view the CCTV. He was told that they couldn’t show him the footage without a police crime reference number.

“She’d gone with a friend and her friend’s mum, who went outside for a cigarette at 3pm, and the scooter was still there then, parked in the foyer where she’d left it. When I found out I got on the phone to the police straight away on the non-urgent number, and I was waiting for two-and-a-half hours.

“I also filled out an online form whilst I was waiting on the phone. When I did get through I was told they’d contact me. They asked if it was insured, but you can’t get insurance for electric scooters.

"It’s got to be someone who was inside Dimensions who’s taken it, because you can’t see through the tinted window, and you definitely couldn’t see from the road because of the car park.

"The path to the field by Dimensions has cameras too, but there’s no cameras to the greenway, although there’s cameras all around Tunstall town centre so if anyone took it into town then they’d be caught.

"The officer said he's trying get hold of somebody from Dimensions with regards to CCTV, and if the police can identify the person then they will be prosecuted on my behalf.

“If my daughter brought something home that wasn’t hers I’d go mad. I can’t understand how parents can let their kids get away with it. I’d care less if it was a £20 bike but it cost my older children nearly £500.

"My son felt that bad for her because she’s got to walk to school that he bought her a second-hand one on Sunday, but it’s nowhere near as good because hers was one of the best ones."

Sharon added: “Frankie’s heartbroken and we’ve been through so much these past few years; her dad died in February 2021, then my sister passed away in March 2021 from cancer.

"Then four weeks after that my boyfriend ended up in intensive care, then seven months after that our dog, Tilly, died after being poisoned by rat urine. We’ve all been through so much.

“When it happened, Frankie cried her eyes out and said ‘I’ve never done anything to anyone, why would someone do this to me?’. She’s really kind, caring and mature for her age because she’s grown up with older siblings who’re now in their 30s.

"Frankie picks litter up around the estate because she’s an ambassador for the eco council at school, and she’ll say ‘don’t people realise they’re ruining my future’. She also helps the 85-year-old man across the road pull his bins out - I don’t know any child like her, she melts your heart.”

Staffordshire Police are now appealing for witnesses following the theft. A force spokesman said: "We are appealing for information after an e-scooter was stolen from a leisure centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

"Between 3pm and 4.20pm on Saturday, April 27 an e-scooter was stolen from Dimensions Leisure Centre on Scotia Road in Burslem. The e-scooter, worth £500, is described as black with an orange front bar. It also has front and rear lights.

"If you witnessed the theft or have any information or CCTV that could help us with our enquiries, please get in touch."

Anyone with information should contact Staffordshire Police through Live Chat on our website, or by calling 101, quoting incident number 608 of April 27. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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