A war hero in his nineties was left devastated when bogus workmen stole a box containing a “lifetime of memories” including his late wife’s jewellery during a distraction burglary at his home.
A businessman and friend of 93-year-old Robert Noble has offered a £5,000 reward for information in a bid to help police trace the thieves.
Decorated World War Two veteran Mr Noble kept cash, bank cards and war memorabilia including demob papers along with his late wife Sally’s wedding and engagement rings in an 18in by 18ins green metal box of his home on Church Lane, Garforth.
Other personal items belonging to Sally Noble, who died aged 84 in 2010, were also kept in the box.
The men posing as water board officials conned their way into visually impaired Mr Noble’s home before one stole the box, which also contained £3,000 cash. It is believed the burglars struck between 1pm and 4pm last Tuesday. Mr Noble’s son Richard, 59, said his father was desperate to serve his country and lied about his age to sign up in the army aged 17.
He served as a bren gunner with Black Watch battalion and saw active service in North Africa, Greece and Sicily and was involved in the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy in 1944.
After the war the father-of-four worked as an engineer for 32 years at the former Barnbow Royal Ordnance Factory in Cross Gates.
Richard Noble said: “He doesn’t really care about the money, he just wants his lifetime of memories back.
“He is upset about the whole thing. He is such a nice fella and would welcome anybody in.
“He is just upset that somebody could do this. We are quite a forgiving family, but it’s difficult to forgive people who do this to elderly people.” Neil Liversedge. Managing director or Castleford-based West Riding Personal Financial Solutions Ltd, is offering a £5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible and the return of the property.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Anyone who has information about the incident or who can assist the investigation is asked to contact Leeds District CID on 101 referencing crime number 13180367713.”
They added: “Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”