A MAN with severe learning difficulties was left devastated after two of his prized petrol-powered karts were stolen.

Andrew Cox, 28, has been riding karts since he was nine years old. But his dad, Robert, said that when they went to the garage on Sunday, two of his karts and a helmet had gone missing.

They were kept in a garage in Westwell Street, close to Andrew’s Hodder Grove home. After an appeal on Facebook, one kart has now been returned.

Robert, 51, said it would have been a tough task removing the karts from the garage.

He said: “They have a big generator engine on the back and a frame, so it would have taken two people to get them out. They are almost six feet long.”

The missing karts together were worth more than £400.

Robert, who is separated from his son’s mother, Angela, and lives in Rothwell Avenue, Accrington, confirmed that one of the karts had been returned.

He said: “When I went round yesterday I saw the oldest one had been left by the back gate. It was the one he has had for years, which we paid £300 for.

“It needed work doing to it, so whether that is the reason they have brought it back, I don’t know.”

Robert said the karts were Andrew’s only passion. He said: “He has been at it a long time. Karting is his life. It is his world. When he is on the karts he hasn’t got anyone in control of him.

“We have been round asking everyone if they know anything. Everyone round here knows Andrew and we want them to get in touch if they know anything.”

Andrew became interested in karting after going on a track in Wales.

Robert said: “We used to go to Wales and they had a go-kart track with two-seater karts, so I went on with him.

“He took to it straight away and I decided I was going to buy one for him.

“They let him use it on the old cricket field at Hyndburn Drive.

“Sunday is always karting day for us and Andrew is always champing at the bit when I go over.”

A police spokesman said the break-in was being investigated. Anyone with information should call 101.