Former New Zealand cricketer Bryan Young is pleading for the person who stole the treasured cap he wore during his career in the national team to return it anonymously to their nearest police station.
Young said he learnt a tough lesson about precious items, when a bag of cricket memorabilia was stolen from the front seat of his car parked outside his Auckland house.
A thief or thieves smashed the vehicle's window and grabbed the bag either late on Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
Items stolen included Young's official, personal NZ Cricket Black Cap which is presented to players by NZ Cricket at the end of their careers. It was in a timber box with a gold plaque on the lid and was engraved with 'B.A Young'.
There are two caps inside - one was ceremonial with the silver fern on the front and Young's personal number, 187, embroidered on the back. The cap below it is the cap he wore during his test career, with the silver fern on the front and the nickname "BAZ'' written in pen on the inside.
Young said it was theft of his playing cap that had left him most devastated.
"You can't replace it. That's got my blood, sweat and tears in it.''
The items were "priceless'' to no-one but him and his family.
"This is just a plea to anyone who might know something, can you please drop it off at the dead of night at the police station.''
NZ Cricket would replace the commemorative cap, he said.
Young had just returned from his mother's Northland home with the items on Saturday and had thought he would bring the bag in later but did not get around to it.
Other items taken include the NZ cricket book The Immortals valued at more than $500, an Ellesse Chronograph men's watch worth more than $300, and two cufflink cases with six sets of cufflinks inside, including a pair of black onyx rectangular ones with gold trim that belonged to Young's grandfather.
"At the end of the day I hope some crim hasn't thrown it away.''
Young said he did his fair share of doing something stupid when he was young, "but this has got a great sentimental value''.
He acknowledged he shouldn't have left the bag in plain sight - "partly I feel silly but partly I feel violated''.
"Hey, I haven't lost an eye and there's a lot of people a lot worse off than me. Ok, I lost a Black Cap and that meant a lot to me, but at the end of the day no-one can take the memories away.''
Police have asked anyone with information that may lead to the recovery of the cap and other property to contact Sergeant Grant Harris at Glen Innes on 09 524 1961 or e-mail email@example.com Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- APNZBy Rebecca Quilliam Email Rebecca