Burglar takes Hamilton boy's PlayStation, while he's playing it

Music 07/07/2016

A nine-year-old Hamilton boy's Nerf gun arsenal sadly wasn't enough to stop his house being burgled in broad daylight at the weekend. 

Sam Wigzell was playing Minecraft on his PlayStation on Sunday afternoon when he heard someone knocking on the front door. 

His mum, Renee Lawson, had briefly popped out to buy some bread. Her flatmate was home, in a sleepout in the back yard. 

Sam, a year five student at Woodstock School, knew better than to answer the door himself. 

"He felt worried, so he went around and locked all the doors," says Ms Lawson. "But he couldn't quite figure out the back door, so he went into his room and loaded up his Nerf guns and hid." 

The man came in the back door, down the hallway and found Sam in his room. He asked who was home, and Sam told him their flatmate was. 

"The man left the room, went back to the lounge, and Sam said he knew the PlayStation was gone when he heard the Minecraft music abruptly stop." 

He took not just the PlayStation - which Sam got for his birthday only weeks ago - but all his games and mum's work laptop. 

Sam ran outside to tell their flatmate - who he'd spoken to just minutes before. She called the police, and Ms Lawson arrived home to find her son in tears. 

"I felt sick and absolutely guilt-stricken that I wasn't there, and very thankful that Sam wasn't hurt," she says. 

"It has affected his very limited knowledge of the typical burglar who wears a balaclava, comes at night, breaks a window and sneaks off with your things. He now knows that there are burglars who come in the middle of the day and take your things while you are there." 

Ms Lawson - a solo mum-of-two who works fulltime - says her oldest boy uses Minecraft to "de-stress, refocus, and help to feel calm". 

"This was a birthday present that had been planned for a long time, and involved a lot of saving." 

"On Minecraft I did so much work and I'm really sad," says Sam. "I did so many things that were really cool. I built the Eiffel Tower, kind of, and another cool tower and a cool house."

Despite Sam giving police "an amazing description" of the burglar - right down to the size and colour of his bag - they weren't given much hope of recovering the treasured console. 

"I think he lost some innocence that day, and a sense of trust in the world, that grownups are there to keep you safe."