GOOD Samaritans have clubbed together to offer a youngster a replacement games console – after he was robbed of his new one before he had even got it home.
Police are hunting for the man who snatched the brand new Playstation 4 – worth more than £300 and bought less than an hour earlier in Croydon town centre – from a 14-year-old boy and his 12-year-old brother at Sandilands tram stop on October 12.
But since the Advertiser reported the robbery online last Friday we have received calls from readers who have started raising funds to get the youngster a replacement console.
One of those was Jean Duke, 54, from Coulsdon, who has started fundraising on Facebook and has had pledges totalling more than £120 so far.
"I put a post on Facebook because I have got a couple of young ones myself. My 17-year-old had a phone stolen off him at a similar age to those boys and it was awful," she explained.
"It's especially bad as its coming up to Christmas. I just threw it out there and people have responded."
Another to get in touch was Jamie Wilkinson, 40, from South Croydon, who runs Roadrunners Minicabs with his brother Ben. They have offered to replace the console outright.
"When I read the story, I just thought 'those poor kids'," Jamie said. "They must have been so excited to get it home and that was heartbreaking.
"I would have hated for it to happen to any of my children and it's nice to show there's still a community spirit here and everybody can help out so it's not all bad news."
Mrs Duke said extra funds could be used to purchase a gift voucher for the boys to get games or accessories for the console.
"I think it's really nice [that people are donating], it restores your faith in humanity," she added.
Colin Walker, 29, from South Croydon has pledged £20 to the cause and was hoping to raise more via online video game streaming community Twitch.
"I remember being that age myself and saving to buy a console. I bought one myself and it took me ages to get enough money, and I'm an adult with a job," he said.
"The poor kids, that must have left a terrible impression on them."
The investigating officer has said he would liaise with the fundraisers to work out the best way to pass the console ons.
The police have a policy to not name the victims of crime.
They have, however, released a picture of a man in a beanie hat in they would like to speak to in connection with the robbery.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.