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How an eagle-eyed Sergeant returned war medals missing for more than 50 years

Article image for How an eagle-eyed Sergeant returned war medals missing for more than 50 years

An eagle-eyed Lilydale police officer has helped reunite war medals stolen more than 50 years ago with the family of the World War II veteran they belonged to.

Sergeant Vaughan Atherton, himself a former army reservist, was chatting to his stations’ property officer who mentioned the medals.

Police had previously been unable to identify the owner of the medals, which were recovered when a search warrant was executed at a Lilydale property in 2017.

Sergeant Atherton took a closer look, and spotted a name on the rim of the medals – Douglas Downs.

After an extensive search, he tracked down the recipient’s family and the war medals have now been reunited with the recipient’s sister.

The medals were stolen during a burglary at Downs’ home in 1969.

It’s not clear how they ended up in the home they were recovered from in 2017.

Press PLAY below to hear how Sergeant Atherton tracked down the medal recipient’s family.

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