Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

WWI medals could help identify burglars

Police hope that the medals will help lead to the burglar's being identified. Photo / Thinkstock
Police hope that the medals will help lead to the burglar's being identified. Photo / Thinkstock

Distinctive engraved World War I medals could help identify burglars who robbed a Waikato home on the weekend, police hope.

The Huntly property on Te Ohaki Road was targeted by the thieves on Saturday afternoon, north Waikato area response manager Senior Sergeant Gill Meadows said.

"Items taken include alcohol, chocolate, two luggage bags, a mobile phone, a black 'Case' jacket and three firearms taken from a wooden free standing gun cabinet.

"But perhaps the most readily identifiable items taken were a First World War trio of medals; a 1914-15 Star, a British War Medal and a Victory Medal that were taken along with a silver Honourable Discharge Badge, ANZAC Gallipoli commemorative medallion and an ANZAC lapel badge."

British Commonwealth campaign medals for service by New Zealand military personnel in the New Zealand Wars, South African War, First World War and for operations after September 3, 1945 were normally engraved and officers hoped this would help identify the thieves, she said.

"On round medals the engraving is usually on the bottom rim while on stars the engraving is on the reverse. The victim informs us that these medals are engraved with the name; 'Robert Adams' and the service number '12/1538' on them."

The weapons taken were a Baikal Russian under and over double barreled shotgun, a Ruger .22 rifle with a wooden stock, telescopic scope and silencer fitted, and a Diana air rifle.

Anyone who is offered medals or firearms such as the ones described was urged to contact police, Ms Meadows said.

"Burglaries of any sought are upsetting but when items such as medals belonging to family members are taken, this adds additional stress to the victims when items that are possibly of very little monetary value but huge sentimental or family value are taken."

The stolen WWI medals.
The stolen WWI medals.

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