This is the heartwarming moment a ‘rock hunter’ with learning difficulties was hand-delivered a personalised pebble by police – wrapped it in an EVIDENCE bag.
Chris Gent, 48, can be seen smiling from ear-to-ear as he excitedly unwraps his special rock before shouting ‘Look at that, wow!’.
A video capturing the wonderful reaction at his home address was posted on the Northumbria Police Facebook page which has since been viewed 107,000 times.
Chris, along with his carer and long-term friend Wendy Baston, are playing the Northumberland Rocks Game, a version of the craze which is sweeping the UK.
Players decorate rocks and pebbles, leaving them behind in secret places for others to find.
Several videos of Chris celebrating wildly as he finds yet another stone has captured people’s imagination.
In fact, Chris has become so well known, that kind-hearted players have started leaving rocks at Druridge Bay in Morpeth, North East., dedicated especially to him.
With fans far and wide, Chris, from Hadston, has also been sent stones to his home.
He is due to swap decorated rocks with an eight-year-old from Jarrow to help the youngster celebrate his birthday at the weekend.
Earlier this month, Blyth Neighbourhood Policing Team (BNPT) – having seen previous footage online – decided to treat Chris to a special present.
Spearheaded by PC Billy Mulligan and his team, the officers turned up at Chris’ home address armed with a bundle of goodies, including a personalised BNPT painted rock.
The parcel, packaged in a police evidence bag and wrapped in police tape, also contained badges, epaulettes, a key ring, mat, some chocolate coins and a note.
The note read: “Dear Chris, congratulations on finding our unique Blyth police rock.
“It took our staff a long time to agree on the design. We’ve been hearing great things about your wonderful collection and hope our rock is a suitable addition.
“In fact, we are so impressed with your videos and can clearly see the enjoyment it brings you. and others you meet during your rock hunting, we have enclosed a few goodies.
“Keep up the good work and we look forward to seeing more of your adventures on Facebook.”
Wendy, also from Hadston, said: “I would like to thank Billy and his team for doing this special package for Chris.
“It was lovely to see, they made him so happy.”
Chris got involved a few months ago and videos of him discovering the hidden stones and celebrating wildly have proved popular.
He said: “I love finding the rocks. I feel over the moon when I find them.”
Blyth RNLI has also invited Chris to attend the station as a special guest.