Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - 12:59pm |
National News

Two men charged with war medals theft

1 min read

Two men have been arrested and charged today (Wednesday, 15 October) with burglary following the thefts in December last year of medals from the Army Museum in Waiouru.

The men are a 39-year-old from Te Atatu Peninsula and a 37-year-old from Waimauku. They have both been charged with burglary and will appear at Auckland District Court today.

The 37-year-old man has been further charged with 42 additional charges of fraud. These are separate charges unrelated to the Operation Valour; they relate to fraud investigations handled by the Auckland Police.

The officer in charge of Operation Valour, Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Bensemann, said: "The investigation has been extremely complex and sensitive; the detail of which will become clear in due course through the court process.

"To ensure the integrity of that process is protected, I am not in a position to comment any further on these arrests or the evidence on which the men have been charged.

"I would however like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has played their part in the investigation. The significance of the theft of the medals to the families of the soldiers, and New Zealand as a nation, has never been far from our minds. The return of the medals undamaged in February was wonderful news but these arrests are what the Operation Valour team have worked so hard to bring about.

"The New Zealand public should be extremely proud of the police staff who have meticulously and tirelessly gathered a wealth of information which has resulted in today's arrests."

Media enquiries should be referred to Central District Communications Manager Kim Perks on 027 234 8256.