Stolen medals returned after turning up in police search

Malcolm Smith gets his medals returned by Nepean PAC’s Jason Pietruszka. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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After Malcolm Smith’s Defence Service medals went missing after being delivered over two years ago, he thought he would never see them again.

Last week Mr Smith received a surprising phone call from St Marys Police Station, which had located the medals and were able to return them to their rightful owner.

Serving for over 17 years, Mr Smith said he thought he would never have an original copy of his Defence Force Service Medal and Australian Defence Medal.

“Australia Post had told me they were delivered to the house I had just moved out of, which was empty, but when I went to the property, they were gone so I filed a police report,” he said.

“Through the efforts of the Weekender at the time, I did a stat dec and received a reissue from the department, but I thought I would never see my original medals again.”

Dealing with PTSD from his service and depression from the loss, Mr Smith said he was shocked when he was contacted by police recently.

“Out of the blue St Marys officers called me and said the medals had come up in a search warrant against a person they were charging,” he said.

“They went into evidence and the unique serial numbers I had provided years ago matched so they could trace them back to me.”

The former serviceman said he could not thank the police enough for their efforts that made him finally feel complete.

“I have always respected the police and this is a good resolution for all of us, plus now I have a sense of completeness,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said he’d struggled to deal with the loss of the medals over the past two years.

“No soldier volunteers in the Army to get an award, we do it as a service to our country but, when that person stole the medals, they stole my identity as a soldier and the recognition of my time,” he said.

Nepean Police Area Command Detective Inspector, Jason Pietruszka, said that the outcome in locating and returning such personal and valued items is very pleasing.

“I’m sure Malcolm probably thought this day would never come after almost two years,” he said.

“It’s a great result and a testament to the hard work done by the Detectives involved.”

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