Burglars still sought

Police are still hunting for the offenders who stole an Oamaru World War 2 veteran's treasured wartime heirlooms, and left the man suffering from post-traumatic stress.

A public appeal for information was launched last week after a 94-year-old man was held down in his own bed by burglars who entered his home and stole 1940s keepsakes that the man had collected while serving as a soldier.

The man, who had no family and lived alone, had received support from Victim Support and Age Concern following the incident.

Age Concern Waitaki co-ordinator Wayne Stringer said the man, who was a survivor of the battle of Monte Cassino in Italy, had also received a lot of support from the community.

''He's been through the stages of post-traumatic stress. The day it happened he was in shock, the day after he was pretty tearful, but he has slowly been getting better and better.

''People have dropped him parcels and hampers, so that's been great.''

An Age Concern volunteer, who had military experience, was also providing support, he said.

Forensic tests have been conducted at the man's home, but so far nobody has been held accountable for what police described as a ''despicable'' act.

Several items valuable to the elderly man were taken, but police have not revealed details about the items other than they were ''distinctive'' and mostly from the post-war and pre-war period.

A Southern District police spokeswoman yesterday said inquiries were continuing into the case, and police were still keen to hear from anyone with information that might help. People with information could telephone Oamaru police directly on (03) 443-1400 or provide information anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.

- andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz

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