Stolen War Medals Recovered
February 16, 2008, 3:24 pm
Medals awarded to New Zealand's most highly decorated servicemen stolen in a military museum heist have been recovered, police announced today.
The priceless collection, awarded to 12 of New Zealand's most highly decorated war heroes, was stolen from the Waiouru Army Museum last December.
Operation Valour inquiry head Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Bensemann said all 12 sets of medals had been recovered in good condition and had been verified as being those stolen from Waiouru.
The medals were returned as a result of a $300,000 reward being offered last month by Lord Michael Ashcroft, the owner of the largest collection of Victoria Crosses, and a Nelson businessman.
"The reward was offered for information leading to the safe return of the medals and that has encouraged a person to come forward and facilitate the return of the medals to police," Mr Bensemann said.
An amount has been paid and no immunity from prosecution or support for reduction in any sentence for any offender was given in return, Mr Bensemann said.
"New Zealand Police celebrate the return of these national treasures. The recovery of the medals was the top priority. Nevertheless