A 92-year-old war veteran had his military medals stolen on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Police have launched an investigation after 11 medals were taken from the Second World War veteran's home in Whetstone, north London, when he was in the property.
The incident happened shortly before 9.30am on Friday, as veterans and world leaders gathered in Normandy to pay tribute to those who fought and died in the D-Day landings 70 years ago. A man claiming to represent a water company knocked on the pensioner's door and said he needed to check the water pressure, Scotland Yard said.
He was allowed in and appeared to look at the taps in the kitchen before leaving a short while later. That evening the victim noticed items in his bedroom had been disturbed and 11 war and service medals had been stolen. Nothing else is believed to have been taken and no arrests have been made, police said.
The man who entered the house is described as white, about 5ft 10in and of stocky build. He spoke with an Irish accent and wore grey clothing which was similar to an engineer's outfit. The veteran served with the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, mainly in Italy and North Africa.
On its Twitter page for Barnet, the Metropolitan police said the victim, a retired fireman, remained "very upset" by the incident. Under the Twitter handle @MPSBarnet, a police spokesman said the suspected bogus water official kept the veteran busy in his kitchen while an accomplice burgled the bedroom.
The stolen medals included two from the First World War which were awarded to the veteran's father, with his own medals for service in Africa, Italy, Palestine and for his work with the fire service.
Officers from the Burglary Squad, based at Colindale Police Station, are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.