‘Pretty low crime’: Daughter of veteran wants her late father’s stolen war medals back

'Pretty low crime': Daughter of veteran wants her late father's stolen war medals back
Photos: Veterans Affairs Canada
A 1939-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Africa Star and Defence Medal were stolen from Barbara Cave's car on Sunday, June 18, 2023. The war medals belonged to Cave's dad, Flight Lt. Geoffrey Charles Cave, who passed away in 1987.

Victoria’s Barbara Cave has had a tough week — her work was destroyed by fire on Friday, and just days later, priceless war medals were stolen from her car.

Cave, who lives in the 600-block of Manchester Road, woke up Sunday morning to find her vehicle broken into. Moments later, she realized four honourary medals that belonged to her late veteran father were missing from the glove compartment.

“If I don’t get these back, and even if I try to replace them, they won’t be my dad’s medals. The ones he earned,” said Cave in an interview with CHEK News.

Her dad, Flight Lt. Geoffrey Charles Cave, passed away in 1987, and the stolen memorabilia includes his 1939-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Africa Star and Defence Medal. All three stars are gold, while the medal is round and silver.

But the prized collection, which Cave says is all she has left to remember him besides pictures and memories, isn’t completely missing because the thief left one medal behind.

“Four of the five medals were gone,” she said.

They were stored in a box, which Cave found strewed across a seat in her car. She says her car’s doors were locked, so the thief forced their way in.

“I had taken them to show my class a while ago. I had forgotten that they were even in there,” she said.

“They were tucked underneath stuff, and I come out, and they’re a part on the seat. There was just one left, and my heart just sank. These are irreplaceable,” she said, questioning the thief’s actions.

“Why did they leave the box? I’m glad that they did. At least some stuff is left over, and the box is from the Air Ministry of London. I’m really glad that I still have that.”

The theft was another blow to Cave’s week after the school teacher’s summer workplace, Ricky’s All Day Grill on Douglas Street, was badly damaged in a fire that Victoria police deemed suspicious.

The fire was reported around 3:15 a.m. Friday, when flames and smoke were spewing from the restaurant not far from Cave’s house in the Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood.

READ ALSO: Victoria restaurant fire deemed suspicious

“On my way to work the next morning, the fire was out, but there was still steam and all the firefighters. It was really sad. My boss was really, really sad about it. I think he’s pretty devastated,” she said. “He said he had a sore heart.”

Cave says it’s a devastating situation all around.

“I was finally feeling relieved that I had summer employment,” she said. “And then waking up this morning to have my dad’s war medals taken made me more sad. At least with work, I can maybe get another job. So summing it up, it’s been a hard week. To have this be taken is really awful.

“These medals are the final F.U.”

VicPD is aware of the theft that Cave’s calling a slap in the face to her and veterans like her dad. Anyone with information can reach the police detachment at 250-995-7654.

“It feels like a pretty low crime,” added Cave.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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