Published: 15:00, 13 June 2014
An 87-year-old war veteran had his precious medals stolen - on the day he commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
The home of Robert Atkins and wife Anabel, 75, was targeted by "cowardly" burglars who stole the haul and £20,000 of jewellery.
The couple had spent the day watching programmes to mark D-Day in Thornden Lane, in the village of Rolvenden Layne, near Tenterden.
Raiders struck while they slept, forcing open a locked window in their living room before ransacking the ground floor.
The pensioners were woken by a noise and discovered the damage when they went downstairs.
"The people who committed this despicable crime are cowardly and clearly lack any respect for their community..." - DS David Cox
Among the haul taken was a Gurkha knife - called a khukuri - that had been presented to Mr Atkins when he was in the 6th Gurkha Regiment between 1950 and 1957.
It was stolen along with medals - dated 1827 and belonging to Mr Atkins' father and grandfather - and more than 200 pieces of silver cutlery with the family crest and made in 1827.
More than £20,000 of jewellery belonging to Mrs Atkins was also taken.
The couple's daughter Vicky Greenley said: "I just can't believe that there are such heartless people out there.
"It's not about the monetary value - these medals meant the absolute world to my father.
"Thankfully, the Military Cross presented to my father in the 50s was not taken. It’s just devastating."
DS David Cox said: "The people who committed this despicable crime are cowardly and clearly lack any respect for their community.
"This is a horrific crime and there is nothing my team and I want more than to apprehend those responsible.
"I know the community will feel as strongly as we do that the person or people who committed this offence need to be caught and brought to justice."
The burglary happened between 9pm on Friday, June 6 and 7am on Saturday, June 7.
Anyone with information is asked to phone Kent Police on 01303 289293, quoting reference ZY/18475/14.
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