'It's all I had left of him' - Son of veteran's emotional plea after war medals stolen
PUBLISHED: 19:12 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:08 16 January 2020
A man who described a collection of war medals as 'all he had left of his father' has pleaded for their safe return following a burglary.
The 72-year-old, who did not want to be named, was asleep in his house on Vimy Ridge, Wymondham, when three people kicked his down his door and ransacked his home.
Among the items stolen was a green tin containing four war medals, awarded to the man's father during the Second World War.
Since the break-in, the recently widowed 72-year-old and his daughter, Joanne Hopson, 49, have been desperately searching for a way to bring the medals home.
He said: "They aren't worth anything in terms of money, but they are very precious to us. They are the only thing I have left of my dad. It's been difficult to sleep since it happened - you wake at any tiny noise. The whole street is afraid."
The four medals were contained in a green, fireproof tin, and included two Burma Star awards for the veteran's service in Myanmar during the Second World War.
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The burglars forced their way into the home at around 2.30 am on Sunday, entering via the locked back-door.
They fled, however, when Ms Hopson disturbed them, after the light from their torch alerted her to their presence.
She said: "We feel completely violated. They really messed up Dad's house. We just hope that the medals can be returned. They mean a lot to Dad."
The 72-year-old's wife died last month, and he had been out of the house for the past week visiting family.
Police believe the group of thieves might have believed the house was still empty when they entered.
A spokesperson for The Royal British Legion said: "The Legion is shocked and saddened to hear of this incident. We would encourage anyone with information to come forward and help reunite the family with these medals that represent the service of an individual who defend the freedom we enjoy today."
Police are searching for anyone who might have seen three men in black clothing in the area around the time of the break-in, or who has information about the incident.
Anyone with information should contact DC Katie Knights at Norwich CID on 101 quoting reference number 36/2558/20, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.