June 6, 2014 6:05 pm

Young theft victim receives unexpected gift from Edmonton police

Watch above: One Edmonton family is thanking police and strangers for helping their teenager after he was the target of a thief. Vinesh Pratap has the story.

EDMONTON – A 13-year-old Edmonton boy has a brand new skateboard thanks to the generousity of a group of strangers, after his original board was stolen last week.

Noah Stasiewich loves skateboarding because it gives him a chance to hang out with other skateboarders. So his mother recently bought him a brand new board.

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“I wanted him to find something that he enjoys doing,” explains Ramona Miskenack. “I wanted him to be able to get into shape, get physical, hang out with a good group of kids.”

But last week when Stasiewich was heading home from the Clareview skate park, his skateboard was stolen by an older kid who befriended him on the LRT ride home.

“He said, ‘Oh, can I try your skateboard?’ and I was like, ‘Alright.’ And we just kind of chilled for a while,” Stasiewich says. “Then he started doing tricks… and he kind of turned around and took off.”

Stasiewich went home and told his mom, who was very emotional when she heard the news.

“I was heartbroken and I was upset and I was a little disappointed,” Miskenack recalls. “It was more the look on his face and I looked away because I’ve never seen him look so devastated. I felt so bad for him.

“I can’t afford to replace it.”

Not knowing what else to do, she called the Edmonton Police Service’s non-emergency complaint line.

“I said, ‘I’m really sorry to bother you. I have a question, though, and I’m not really sure if I should be calling,'” she says. “I just felt like I was bothering [them].”

Miskenack says the police were very kind about the complaint and an officer came out to speak with her family. Police began an investigation, but little did the family know the officers had a plan of their own.

“Constable Glenn Close was the member investigating this and he decided that we can raise some money and purchase Noah a new skateboard,” explains Cst. Owen Staudinger with the Edmonton Police Service.

Members from two squads pooled together some money and went to West 49 at Kingsway Mall. Their intention was to buy Stasiewich a new skateboard, but when the district manager heard the boy’s story, he offered to give the officers a free skateboard.

“Being a skateboarder, we feel for the guy. We know how big of a bummer that is,” says Josh Stegman.

“I can remember going to 7-Eleven, leaving my board, not having it gripped to me, come out and it’s gone. And they’re expensive. They’re not just toys,” he says. “It’s a piece of you.”

With the money they raised, the police officers bought Stasiewich a West 49 gift card.

The officers then went to the boy’s house to present him with his gift. But Stasiewich says he was a bit hesitant when he opened the door.

“I don’t know what you’re supposed to think when you open your door and there’s nine cops outside your house,” he laughs.

“I kind of just felt like walking away slowly and closing the door.”

Miskenack says she was overjoyed and extremely pleased the officers came together to help out her son.

“I was kind of shocked, I couldn’t even really think,” she says. “It made my year.

“These cops… Just knowing how busy they are and the jobs that they have, and they put their lives on the line for us everyday, and I thought this was such a minute thing in their life that they wouldn’t even give it a second thought.”

Staudinger says he and the other officers were happy to help and didn’t hesitate to pool their money together.

“Noah’s a good kid, comes from a good family and he was just caught in a bad situation,” he says. “It’s those extra little things that sometimes really count. I think Noah appreciated it, his mom appreciated it. And at the end of the day that’s what we really wanted.”

And the gesture meant a lot to Stasiewich, too.

“Holy, just a free skateboard,” he says. “That was pretty cool.”

With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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