More war medals reported missing
More war medals have been reported missing, this time from a Waikato museum, in what appears to be an historical theft.
The loss of 30 war medals was discovered only after one of the Te Awamutu Museum’s medals was put up for sale by an American collector on the website eBay this year, the Waikato Times reported.
An audit of the museum’s inventory, which took six months, revealed 30 of its 175 historical medals were unaccounted for.
The apparent theft preceded that of eight Victoria Crosses and one VC and bar, stolen from the Waiouru Army Museum in 2007 as part of a 96-medal haul.
A depositions hearing for one of the two men accused of those thefts is under way at the Wanganui District Court this week.
Another man, who also has name suppression, was earlier sentenced to 11 years’ jail for the theft.
Waipa District Council museum and heritage manager Jan White said she had no idea how the medals had gone missing, but she believed they had disappeared between 1991 and 1996 – when the museum was run by volunteers.
Since the council took over managing the museum in 2005 “security was superb”, she said.
“It has nothing to do with the current staff, it was so long ago.”
The inventory audit was expected to take at least three years – 10,000 pieces will be checked against historical documents and registers.
Te Awamutu police Senior Sergeant Dave Simes said police had received a large amount of information from the museum which they would begin working through.