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An elderly war veteran and his wife were threatened with a crowbar in a "frightening ordeal" when intruders forced their way into their home and stole precious belongings, including a veteran's badge.
Police said the elderly couple were woken about 6.45am on Sunday, when two men entered their home in New Lynn, west Auckland, and demanded money and jewellery.
One of the men then stood guard over the couple in their bedroom, holding a crow bar towards them, while the other man searched the house for things to steal.
Police said the offenders fled a short time later with several items, some of which had great sentimental value to the victims. They included a distinctive beige-coloured casual jacket with no collar, an elastic waist and wrist bands, and a Hawaiian name and an emblem on the left breast.
Pinned to its left breast was a blue and gold war veteran's badge that had been awarded to the elderly victim in 2006 by then Prime Minister Helen Clark.
Detective Sergeant Eugene Pickett said the couple were not physically harmed in the home invasion and they were being helped by victim support.
"This was an incredibly frightening ordeal, in the very place where the couple should have been able to feel safe.
"Not only has their home been invaded, but things that meant a great deal to them, like the gentleman's war pin, have been stolen from them and they are very shaken.
"Someone out there may know or suspect who has done this and we would appeal to the conscience of anyone with information that could help us - how would you feel if this was your relatives?"
Police said the offenders fled the scene in a red, mid-80s four door car.
One was described as a softly spoken, stocky or fat Maori or Pacific Islander, aged in his mid-20s to mid-30s. The other was a slim Maori or Pacific Islander in his mid-20s to mid-30s.
Mr Pickett said anyone who recognised the jacket or badge should contact Waitakere police on 09 213 8049 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.