While grieving the recent death of a relative, a Nova Scotia family learned of the theft of “valuable historical and sentimental items,” including a collection of medals from both world wars, according to a CBC News story published on Jan. 9.
J.P. MacDonald lived alone in his Cape Breton home until his death last November, after which time the house was uninhabited.
On Jan. 7, a neighbour noticed a truck backed up to the home.
“It looked like they knew what they were looking for,” son-in-law Steve Wadden told CBC News. “Just the items of great interest, of great value, were stolen.”
In addition to the missing war memorabilia, the stolen items include a complete set of table china as well as vintage photographs of various MacDonald family members. Some of the items were appraised following MacDonald’s death; however, the total value of the stolen items remains unclear.
“They do have appraised values,” Wadden told CBC News, “even though I don’t know how much of a market there is for that stuff. I mean, somebody died for those medals, so we can’t put a price on that stuff.”
The First World War medals were posthumously awarded to the great-grandfather of Wadden’s wife while the Second World War medals were awarded to her late grandfather.
In a Jan. 11 follow-up story by CBC News, Wadden said “most” of the items were returned but didn’t comment on how the items were retrieved. Some medals, jewelry and photographs remain missing.
“From all of the family … we are forever grateful that these items are back where they belong — forever grateful for family and good friends,” he said in a Facebook post. “To those responsible, it is in your best interest to do everything in your power to locate and return the remaining items as soon as possible.”
The family was offering a $1,000 cash reward “if somebody brings back all of these items — and I want every single last thing.”