Buyers alerted as police say stolen medals may be sold

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DETECTIVES searching for war medals stolen in North Yorkshire say they may be offered for sale.

Officers have made a fresh appeal for information and issued photographs following a spate of raids in North Yorkshire in which a hoard of medals was taken, some of which are engraved with the name WG Whitehead.

Detective Constable Sam Harding, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “I would specifically like to appeal to collectors and anyone who believes they have been offered these medals for sale recently, to please check for any items engraved with the name of W G Whitehead.

“It is beyond belief that someone would steal such sentimental items from innocent members of the public. I am making a direct appeal to those who are responsible. Some of the bravest and most honourable men and women fought and died so you could continue to live in a safe place.

“These medals were given to those men and women for their tremendous efforts. You have not earned these medals and they deserve to be in the possession of the family of those brave people. We urge you to please show some respect for the people that sacrificed themselves for you and contact the police so the medals can be reunited with their rightful owners.”

In the most recent raid, a house in Spofforth, near York, was burgled on December 23 and a large amount of jewellery was taken along with several military medals and a Royal Artillery beret badge. Three of the medals had been mounted on to a red and blue 6in x 3in ribbon. Some are engraved with the name WG Whitehead.

On December 20, burglars broke into a home on Lime Kiln Lane, Kirk Deighton, near Wetherby, and stole war medals including the Burma Star, a 1939–1945 Star, a World War One Victory Medal, and jewellery.

A house in nearby Little Ribston was broken into on December 10 and burglars stole Rotary Club regalia and jewellery.

Officers believe thieves have travelled to the area from West Yorkshire and have extended their appeal to anyone in that area who has been offered similar medals for sale.

Det Con Harding urged members of the public to be on their guard and report anything suspicious in their neighbourhood to the police.