Manchester

Disneyland cash stolen from Radcliffe boy with cancer

A four-year-old boy with a rare cancer had birthday presents and holiday money stolen in a raid on his Radcliffe home.

Burglars broke into the house on Spenser Avenue overnight on Monday and stole items worth up to £20,000.

Spending money for a "once in a lifetime trip" to Disneyland, Paris, paid for by the Starlight Children's Foundation, was among the items taken.

Police are investigating whether the family were targeted after his story featured on a television documentary.

An anonymous benefactor has since offered the family of the child, who suffers from Rhabdommosarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer, a gift of £500.

'Cowardly act'

Greater Manchester Police said burglars used a ladder from an outbuilding to get into the house through an upstairs window, at some point between 2000 BST on Monday and 0430 BST on Tuesday.

The thieves stole items including jewellery, a bike, a television, computer consoles and games which were wrapped up to celebrate the boy's birthday.

They also stole the family's Ford Fiesta car which was found abandoned and burnt out nearby.

Supt Mark Granby said: "The boy's parents have dipped into their savings putting themselves in financial difficulty.

"Happily there is some good news a benefactor has offered £500 to offset the financial loss."

He added: "What this family has been through is absolutely heartbreaking.

"The family's circumstances have featured on a television documentary so we are investigating the possibility they have been deliberately targeted.

"[That] would make this an even more callous and cowardly act by the culprits who must have known the pain and upset their actions would cause.

"Apparently, this did not bother them and they stooped as low as to steal this little boy's spending money, which is unforgivable."

Update: This story has been amended to make clear that, following a correction by Greater Manchester Police, tickets for Disneyland were not stolen.

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