Elderly veteran reunited with his $23,000 life savings

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 15:20 23/08/2012

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A 90-year-old Greymouth war veteran has been reunited with the life savings he misplaced after having a cup of tea.

Greymouth police had appealed for help from the public today after the man withdrew $23,000 from a Greymouth bank last Friday.

He had put the money in an envelope and went to a cafe for a cup of tea, but his movements from there were unclear.

Constable Deane Harbison said this afternoon police had located the missing money hidden at the man's house and deposited it back into his bank account.

After their appeal, police had fielded calls from people all over the world offering to donate money to the man.

"Thankfully we won't have to take anyone up on those generous offers of donations, but it is very heartening to see that level of goodwill," he said.

The man was delighted to have found the money.

Police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn earlier said the man withdrew the money out to pay some bills.

"Sadly, he seems to have got a bit confused about how much to get out,'' she said.

Dunn described the situation as "really awful".

"He's a lovely old man."

Police had spoken with bank staff and reviewed footage from the bank and around the town to try to locate the money. 

They had also searched the man's house.

Constable Deane Harbison said the money was everything the man had.

The man was a war veteran and had no close family.

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