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By Felix Adamo / The Californian
BY RACHEL COOK Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethan Perez won't get a chance to ride the expensive scooter his parents bought him, a symbol of the good things to come after his upcoming surgery to amputate his left leg.
The scooter, along with the fourth grader's iPod, the family's four laptops, jewelery and cash, were stolen from the Perez family's home Wednesday afternoon, according to Debbie Landry, Ethan's mother.
"It was a $500 push scooter," Landry said. "It was brand new because he wouldn't let anybody touch it."
Ethan suffers from arteriovenous malformation and hasn't been able to walk for about two years because of two tumors. In the face of the painful disease, Ethan and his family decided to follow his doctors' advice and have an above-the-knee amputation of his leg, as The Californian reported Sunday.
His parents purchased the scooter as Ethan's surgery present and Landry said it would follow him around the house.
On Wednesday afternoon, between 12:45 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. when Landry was gone taking paperwork to her mother, someone entered the northwest Bakersfield house through the garage's side door and then crawled through the doggie door, Landry said.
Ethan's room was one of the worst-hit areas of the home. Besides the scooter, the intruder, or intruders, took his iPod, video games and the remote controls to one of his game systems. The house was ransacked and dresser drawers dumped out. Even the tin that contains Landry's dog's ashes was opened.
Landry said the worst thing to lose was the scooter.
"(Ethan is) scared, actually," Landry said. "He's like, 'I don't want to stay here now. I'm scared they're going to come back.'"
Landry believes the burglars were interrupted when her older son came home and found the door more locked than usual. He called his mother when he noticed the house was trashed. Landry said she told him to go outside and she arrived home to the mess soon after.
Bakersfield police officers took fingerprints off a neighbor's home, where screens were removed and a gate was open, according to Landry. She said police think there were two people because of the speed and extent of the damage.
While no date has been set for Ethan's surgery, Landry hopes it will be in the next couple weeks. The family now has the added stress of dealing with the aftermath of a break-in. But Ethan will "absolutely" get another scooter, Landry said. She promised him his present will be replaced.