Medals ‘stolen’ from 92-year-old veteran on 70th anniversary of D-Day found in his home

Police said that while the medals had turned up there were still items of jewellery missing and the search for a suspect continues

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The Independent Online

The military and service medals “stolen” from a 92-year-old British veteran on the 70th anniversary of D-Day have been found in the man’s home.

Scotland Yard said they had been contacted by burglary victim Dixie Dean to say that the medals previously thought to have been taken had turned up at his home in Whetstone, north London after all.

Mr Dean was targeted in a distraction burglary on Friday as veterans and world leaders gathered in Normandy to remember the landings of 1944, prompting a nationwide appeal to help recover the missing items.

But while the medals have now been found, police said some jewellery was stolen in the incident and that they continue to hunt for the suspect or suspects involved.

In the previous appeal, police said the veteran opened the door of his home to a man wearing grey clothing “of the sort an engineer would wear” who said he needed to check the water pressure.

He allowed the man in and followed him into the kitchen, where he appeared to check the taps before leaving a short while later.

Later that evening the veteran noticed that items in his bedroom had been disturbed, which initially led him to fear that 11 medals, including two his father received for service in the First World War, had been taken.

Mr Dean served with the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, mainly in Italy and North Africa, and later in the fire service.

The man who posed as a water company representative was described as stocky, white, about 5ft 10in (1.78m) and spoke in an Irish accent.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “Officers investigating a burglary at the Barnet home of a 92-year-old war veteran can confirm that his medals have been found today, Wednesday, June 11.

“Items of jewellery and the suspect remain outstanding.”

No one has been arrested over the incident and police continue to appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

In the US, meanwhile, another veteran whose medals were actually stolen has also been reunited with his treasured possessions.

New Mexico police said 89-year-old Roy Hopper, who was held as a prisoner of war by the Nazis for nine months, had nine medals including a Bronze Star taken in the days leading up to last week's D-Day anniversary.

Albuquerque Police spokesperson Simon Drobik told Reuters on Tuesday that Mr Hopper's medals were taken while he was in hospital undergoing surgery, but that they had since been recovered.

Local media outlets reported that the medals - which bear Mr Hopper's name - were found when an off-duty police officer overheard someone trying to sell them at a local shop. The suspect reportedly fled without the medals when confronted.