Thieves steal go-kart from Kent child with autism

A Kent family is reaching out to the community for help after thieves stole their son’s source of joy: his go-kart.

The kart belonged to 11-year-old Emmett Potter, a child with autism. 

"It’s really disheartening to think that someone would steal something from a kid," said Ira Potter, Emmett's father. "When he feels confidence, independence, courageous-- that is when he’s at his best. You almost wouldn’t know that he’s autistic at all," said Ira Potter.

Potter said the family got into racing a few years ago and has seen so much improvement with Emmett.

Not only is racing an outlet for the 11-year-old, but he’s also good at it. Potter said his son won several races in the 2022 season.

The Potters kept Emmett's kart in the front of his grandfather's business, along with his trophies for winning. It was a sign of pride for the family. 

In early March, surveillance footage captured two thieves smashing through the front window of the business and stealing the kart.

Now, the family is scrambling to deal with the theft, which occurred just a few weeks before the racing season is set to start.

"There’s things on that car that were very unique. Things that you can’t even buy anymore," said Potter.

He said the loss from the theft is in the thousands, but the emotional impact on his 11-year-old is far worse.

"It would sit in the garage, and he [Emmett] would go in the garage and sit in it, for like an hour straight," he said. "He loved that thing," Potter added.

The family is working to find a new kart for Emmett in time for the season. They have a GoFundMe to raise money for the cost of the kart.