Rare coins stolen
Pensioner Norman Anderson's health was failing so he packed his legacy into three small tins with a note to his wife telling her who was to get what.
But a brazen thief swiped the collection of rare coins from his home as he lay in hospital.
Mr Anderson suffered a pulmonary embolism last year and fears that the blood clots had returned saw him rushed to hospital early in February.
The Manurewa resident expected the worst so he was relieved to be diagnosed with angina and released last week.
He was ordered home to rest and arrived to find the valuable coins had gone.
A thief had forced the security stays open on a window at the front of his Orchard Grove Retirement Village home and grabbed the tins they were in.
"He grabbed his heart and I thought: "Oh God, here we go again," Mr Anderson's wife Salome says.
She's heartbroken not just because of the effect on her husband's health but also because of the messages from him she has lost.
Inside one of the tins was Mr Anderson's final letter to his wife and some poems he had written to her which she has never read.
"That's what breaks my heart because whoever took it would have just thrown those away, they mean nothing to them - they were for me."
Mr Anderson was given his first two gold sovereigns by his father.
"His father had given him one of them and his mother gave him the other when he went away to World War II," he says.
Mr Anderson was given the coins when he joined the merchant navy in 1961.
"While I was away tramping around the world I added to them because a lot of the ships pay in gold - it's a tax thing," he says.
"They were a legacy for my children and they were supposed to be left for my children."
Rare pennies in the collection are some of the most valuable and he is worried the thief will think them worthless and just throw them away.
But police believe the thief knew what he was after.
"It looks like they have targeted the actual coins," Sergeant Benny Ostler says.
He believes the thief became aware of the coins after Mr Anderson put some of them on Trade Me about a month ago.
Police are now contacting anyone from the site who showed interest in the auction.
"He was contacted by a buyer who said he would buy all the coins, further adding that he was out of the country at the time but would contact him on his return.
"There is nothing to say that this person is the burglar but we just need to look at those possible inquiries," Mr Ostler says.
Police are also canvassing secondhand dealers and jewellers.
Anyone with information about the the stolen coins should contact Mr Ostler on 353 8610.
Norman Anderson's coins were contained in three tins.
One stirling silver tin contained gold coins and letters, an Erinmore tobacco tin held coins and old pound notes and a Moringa Lips candy tin had more coins. Some of the coins contained in the tins were three gold 1930 George V sovereigns, six gold half sovereigns, six Australian silver florins and a number of pennies and half pennies from the 1800s.
Other items stolen included:
A set of mounted All Black coins
A Beefeater commemorative 1485-1985 mounted coin
A 1953 commemorative Queen Elizabeth II Coronation five shilling coin.