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Vet’s war medals recovered from the bottom of a wheelie bin

GRATEFUL: David Cussons was delighted to have his prized war medals and family watch recovered this week.
GRATEFUL: David Cussons was delighted to have his prized war medals and family watch recovered this week. Inga Williams

YAMANTO grandfather David Cussons was only one garbage bin collection away from losing his most treasured possessions.

The retired Australian Defence Force serviceman recently had his war medals stolen as well as an Order of Australia Medal.

It was alleged the items were taken during a spate of burglaries across Yamanto and Churchill.

At least seven are believed to have occurred from July 18.

Mr Cussons said he had all but given up hope of recovering his items, until police phoned him on Monday night with some good news.

Officers had arrested two Churchill men who were in possession of a large quantity of stolen goods.

Among the estimated $40,000 worth of items recovered were Mr Cussons' medals, found dumped at the bottom of a wheelie bin.

Mr Cussons, 65, said it was scary to think his medals were only days away from being collected by garbage trucks and lost forever.

He had received his OAM in 1984 for his dedicated service working with F-111 aircraft at RAAF Base Butterworth in Malaysia.

He described his medals as some of his most important possessions and had kept them locked in a safe.

Mr Cussons said police had also recovered his Rolex watch which had once belonged to his father, who died 30 years ago.

"I am elated to have my belongings back," he said. "The police have done an excellent job ... I just hope everyone else gets back their gear."

The two men charged with the burglaries, Jeremy De Bono, 20, and David Currie, 27, appeared at Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday.

The case was adjourned to August 27.

The two Churchill men were remanded in custody until their next court appearance.

Detective Inspector Lew Strohfeldt said investigators expected to lay additional charges as more of the seized property was traced back to its rightful owners.

"There was a significant amount of property recovered and we're in the process of identifying that," Inspector Strohfeldt said.

He said if all property had not been identified within the next few days, a campaign would be launched to try and locate the owners of the items.

Among the recovered items were laptops, jewellery, watches, collectable basketball cards and Xbox games.

Topics:  burglary, ipswich magistrates court




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