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Devastated Costessey 11-year-old racer bursts into tears after burglars steal his beloved go-kart

PUBLISHED: 11:25 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:06 15 September 2017

Matthew Hawkins in the go-kart that was stolen from his home in Costessey. Picture: CHRISTOPHER HAWKINS

Matthew Hawkins in the go-kart that was stolen from his home in Costessey. Picture: CHRISTOPHER HAWKINS

CHRISTOPHER HAWKINS

A budding 11-year-old driver burst into floods of tears when burglars stole his beloved go-kart just days before he was set to race his "pride and joy".

Matthew Hawkins in the go-kart that was stolen from his home in Costessey. Picture: CHRISTOPHER HAWKINSMatthew Hawkins in the go-kart that was stolen from his home in Costessey. Picture: CHRISTOPHER HAWKINS

Matthew Hawkins and his father Christopher had worked tirelessly during evenings and weekends to ensure the bright green Maranello RS1 go-kart chassis was race-ready, including fitting a Honda GX160 engine and assembling parts.

The Ormiston Victory Academy pupil had taken his first steps on the motorsport ladder by joining the National Schools and Youth Group Karting Association (NatSKA) and completing a series of tests to ensure he was qualified to take to the track.

He had been excited about putting on his racing overalls to compete at an event in Wales this weekend.

But just days before he was due to put pedal to metal, he saw the garage door at his Margaret Road home had been left open - and was shocked to find the trolley where his go-kart was stored empty.

Matthew Hawkins in the go-kart that was stolen from his home in Costessey. Picture: CHRISTOPHER HAWKINSMatthew Hawkins in the go-kart that was stolen from his home in Costessey. Picture: CHRISTOPHER HAWKINS

Mr Hawkins said the go-kart had been his sons’s “pride and joy” and added: “He was just standing there in shock. He was dumbstruck.

“About half an hour later, he was in floods of tears when he realised he wouldn’t be able to race this weekend or at any time in the future.

“He had really got a bug for it. Every weekend we would do a little bit of work on it. It’s an escape from school life and he’s a completely different person when he’s at the track go-karting.

“The go-karting community is quite a nice place and he’s made quite a lot of friends. It’s hard to see him in the tears he was in. He was supposed to be racing this weekend in Wales. Now we can’t afford to replace it and my son is devastated.

Matthew Hawkins in the go-kart that was stolen from his home in Costessey. Picture: CHRISTOPHER HAWKINSMatthew Hawkins in the go-kart that was stolen from his home in Costessey. Picture: CHRISTOPHER HAWKINS

“Matthew is truly upset with the loss of this and that he can not now continue to race, just as he was starting to get to grips with racing lines and overtaking.”

Mr Hawkins believes the theft, which happened sometime between 10.30pm on Wednesday, September 14 and 7am the next day, must have been carried out by at least two people due to the heavy weight of the kart.

The burglars even moved the family’s bicycles out of the way and left behind other valuable items behind.

Mr Hawkins, who has posted appeals for the go-kart’s return on several social media sites, said: “I think people are just disgusted and are questioning why they would do it.”

Asked what message he would have for the culprits, Mr Hawkins said: “I would just ask them to return it or leave it somewhere we can find it.

“I’m not interested in who took it or why - we just want it back.”

A police spokesman said inquiries into the burglary were ongoing and that no arrests had been.

Anyone with information about the incident or who has been offered the go-kart for sale should contact Norfolk Police on 101.

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