By Victoria Stone-Meadows
A sick, elderly woman from Cranbourne North has been left devastated after thieves stole two sets of priceless war medals from her home while she was in hospital.
The woman was rushed to hospital on 3 March and returned to her Kellett Street home on 7 March to find the six World War II medals missing, along with some jewellery.
The 76-year-old, who was too unwell to speak with media, has lost the only relics she had left to remember both her late father and husband. Both had served in the Australian Army.
Investigating police officer, Detective Senior Constable Michelle Chiang said this crime had left her speechless.
“There are no words to describe someone who could do this,” DSC Chiang said.
“Especially to an elderly lady, who lives alone, who is vulnerable; to steal something so sentimental …”
The six medals that were stolen from the house include an African Star, Pacific Star, Star ’39-’45, Defence Medal, War Medal ’39-’45 and Australian Service Medal ’29-’45.
Police are asking anyone with information about where the medals are to come forward and restore them to a widow who is grieving over this loss.
“She is not of good health and every conversation we have about this, it is quite distressing for her,” DSC Chiang said.
“These were the only things she had left to remember her last father and also her late husband by.”
DSC Chiang said while stolen war medals had been known to turn up in secondhand stores and pawn shops, she was asking the public to keep an eye on online marketplaces for them as well.
“Investigations are ongoing and we urge anyone who may know the whereabouts of these medals to return them; drop them off to your nearest police station. Any secondhand dealers that are aware of someone trying to sell medals of this description, please contact police or Crime Stoppers.”
“Anyone who sees them on buy, swap and sell sites or social media sites, please contact Crime Stoppers,” she said.
Investigators have released images of the medals in the hope that someone recognises them and they can be returned to their owner.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au