Two people have been arrested for trying to sell a Vietnam war veteran's medals days before he was to march on Anzac Day - thanks to a reader of The Star.
A 21-year-old man and 20-year-old woman will appear in the district court on Wednesday, charged with receiving stolen property and theft. They were arrested during search warrants at a Richmond and a central city house yesterday morning.
The medals, belonging to Australian Reg Meffert, 63, were stolen during a burglary of a Heathcote house he was staying at. He was visiting relatives in Christchurch and had planned to take part in Anzac Day activities in Christchurch, proudly wearing his medals, with his partner's son.
Police released a security camera photo to The Star showing two people sought for questioning over the theft of the medals.They hoped members of the public would be able to assist in identifying them.
It was alleged the couple tried to sell the medals to Chalon Stamps in Gloucester St. A reader contacted police after seeing the security photo.
Due to the quick thinking of Chalon Stamps owner Peter Whittaker, all of the stolen medals were recovered. Mr Meffert had earlier contacted stamp and coin collectors in the city on the chance someone would try to sell them.
Mr Whittaker recognised them and asked the couple if they had any more. They returned to their car and came back, allegedly with all of Mr Meffert's medals. He then took them and said, 'they've been stolen, and I'm going to call the police'. The couple then left the store.
Relatives of Mr Meffert said yesterday he would be "very happy" to hear of the arrests. At the time, Mr Meffert said the most important thing was to catch the people responsible, as he did not want another veteran to go through the same thing.
Mr Meffert is a country singer based in Regency Downs, between Brisbane and Toowoomba.