Thief steals kids' fun
A mean-spirited thief has pinched a bunch of old 50c coins used by children for novelty rides in Kumeu.
Now the hunt is on for replacements.
Classic coin operated ride-ons are popular with kids at the Juicy NZ Strawberries and Roastery and a jar of 50c pieces was always on hand to get them going.
But someone stole the jar and the rides won't work without them.
Ten-year-old Max Hibbert of Muriwai and his sister Ruby, 6, are among disappointed punters.
"The most annoying part is they can't even use the money - it's selfish," Max says.
Store owners Trevor and Shelley Guest of Muriwai bought the 50c pieces and ride-ons off Trade Me and say they've also brought a lot of pleasure to older customers who remember them from school fairs and carnivals of years gone by.
They were gobsmacked to find the jar missing after a busy day when staff couldn't keep a close eye on it.
"At first it annoyed me, but now it's just disappointing," Trevor says. "You can have a tough day but then you see little kids with smiles on their faces."
"It's the enjoyment of seeing kids with the old coins putting them in and riding," Shelley says.
The Guests are now looking for old 50c coins to get the machines up and running again and hope residents might still have a few sitting around their homes, garages or vehicles.
The coins can be dropped into their store at 505 State Highway 16, Kumeu.