Absolutely shameful. What kind of low life degenerate would do something like this. I hope if the collector community finds any of the missing materials that they are promptly handed back to the museum.
Military Museums asking for return of cache of stolen artifacts
By Bill Kaufmann ,Calgary Sun
First posted: Tuesday, February 07, 2012 12:25 PM MST | Updated: Tuesday, February 07, 2012 02:42 PM MST
Collectors of militaria are being urged to show some courage in returning what are being called priceless artifacts of stolen valour.
On Tuesday, The Military Museums displayed 63 medals returned from a cache of 533 stolen in 2010 in hopes the sight of them will encourage the same from collectors who possess the rest.
The missing items also include badges, books and bayonets from both world wars and the Cold War, said Tom Doucette, executive director of The Military Museums.
They were donated by veterans or their family members or purchased by the museum.
“They have an intrinsic value — they’re priceless,” said Doucette.
Among them are German items taken by Canadian soldiers as war trophies and several highly-prized Distinguished Conduct Medals, said museum officials.
They were noticed missing from a storage area in 2010, and an investigation led to the arrest of museum volunteer George Lonsdale, 81, who was charged a year ago with possession of stolen property over $5,000.
Last month, he pleaded guilty to the charge.
That arrest led to the recovery of 61 artifacts, said Const. Krista Young.
“Video surveillance is not located in the storage area ... the male who was charged was selling the items to a dealer,” said Young.
“We weren’t able to gather enough evidence to lay charges of theft and the male was not cooperative in the investigation.”
Another two medals were returned by a Good Samaritan collector from Edmonton,
Museum staff tracking down military buffs aided in the investigation, said Young.
“Curators at the museum had located a number of items on a dealer’s website — that’s how we were able to trace it back to the male who we’ve charged,” she said.
Anyone who purchased military artifacts since 2010 are asked to view the website at themilitarymuseums.ca to see if they might possess any of the purloined relics.
They’re asked to contact police and if they initially unaware the artifacts were stolen, won’t face charges, said Young.
“Our goal is to recover as many of these priceless items as possible,” she said.
The museum has since improved its security measures, said Doucette.
http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/02/07/mi ... -artifacts