Detective work puts boy back in touch

Phone a "lifeline" after he was bullied at school

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 25/02/2014
Phoenix Maddox
CHARLOTTE CURD
Phoenix Maddox had his phone taken.

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Some determined sleuthing by a family of budding detectives has helped police to catch up with a boy's much-needed phone.

Phoenix Maddox, 11, who has Aspergers syndrome, had been given a mobile phone as a "lifeline" after he was bullied at school last year.

He knew his phone meant he could call his mum anytime he was lost, or confused, or if he was ever bullied again.

Or at least that was the case until his cellphone was taken on Saturday afternoon.

He had accidentally left it on the counter of New Plymouth's Blagdon Dairy and walked out after paying for his ice cream.

Less than two minutes later he came back to get it, but it was gone.

The security footage, which has been viewed by the Taranaki Daily News shows Phoenix re-entered seconds after a woman picked up his phone and put it in her handbag.

She was still in the shop when the 11-year-old boy returned and asked the shopkeeper what had happened to his phone.

When the shopkeeper suggested they look at the security footage the woman disappeared out the front door, with Phoenix's phone still in her bag.

Phoenix's mother, Rhiannon Edwards, 29, phoned the police about the missing phone on Saturday.

Police had viewed the CCTV security footage and were in the process of tracking down the alleged offender.

Last night Mrs Edwards got a phone call from her father, Mel Fox telling her he had seen the woman walking down the street and into a house.

Mrs Edward's husband wrote the address down, went to the house and knocked on the door.

After being confronted the woman phoned the New Plymouth police station to tell them she had "found a phone" in the Blagdon Dairy.

Last night Sergeant Lewis Sutton of the New Plymouth station said police were now deciding what action to take regarding the alleged offender.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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