An Echuca firefighter and his family are devastated after his Victorian bravery medal, and other personal items of sentimental value, were stolen from his High St home on the weekend.By Ivy Wise
The theft of Stuart Stevens’ service medals, including a Victorian bravery medal, and personal items of sentimental value has been like a ‘‘kick in the guts’’ for the fire brigade volunteer.
The Echuca man and his wife were in Mildura for the annual Bravery Association meeting when their house in High St was broken into between noon Saturday and noon Sunday.
Their house was trashed and a safe, containing the bravery medal, with Stuart Anton Stevens engraved around edge, a National Service Medal; CFA 25-year service medal; gold Seiko men’s watch with ‘Happy 40th birthday Stuart. Love Mum and Dad’ engraved on the back; antique gold pocket/fob watch (which belonged to Mr Stevens’ grandfather); white Toshiba Satellite Pro laptop; orange Olympus digital camera; and a 9 carat gold women’s bracelet and necklace stolen.
‘‘We went to Gallipoli and Istanbul in April and all the photos we took were on the camera card in the safe, so that’s all lost,’’ Mr Stevens said.
‘‘These medals mean a lot to me and all the personal stuff. We just want them back.’’
Mr Stevens received the bravery medal in 1987 after chasing and capturing an armed robber while working for Melbourne City Council.
A senior investigations officer with Campaspe Shire Council for the past 16 years, Mr Stevens said this was the second time in eight months their house has been burgled.
‘‘Last year, the house was burgled while my wife was at home and they stole the car and some other stuff,’’ he said.
‘‘She’s just getting over that and now this happens.
‘‘Now she’s too frightened to go away because she’s afraid it might happen again and I’m reluctant to go out and leave my wife at home.
‘‘It just makes me angry. This is a beautiful country town and this is happening too often. We shouldn’t have to turn our house into a fortress.
‘‘You work in the community and volunteer
If you have any information about these items or are offered them for sale, contact Senior Detective Peter Colliver at Echuca police on 5482 2255 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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