Police are appealing for information after 2,000 distinctive wildlife pin badges were stolen during a burglary in Woodham Ferrers.
The badges, mostly from the RSPB and Essex Wildlife Trust, were worth a four-figure sum and were taken from 14 cases within the victim’s home.
The collector, a 71-year-old man, reported that the badges were part of a treasured collection over many years.
They were taken overnight with the victim waking up on Tuesday May 26 to find that a messy search had been carried out inside.
Investigating officer PC Edward Bishop, of Chelmsford CID, said: “These are distinctive badges showing a variety of birds, mammals, trees and flora.
“The victim invested plenty of time and money in this collection and understandably he is very upset.
“I believe these badges would be of particular interest for wildlife lovers, who may see them online, in auction houses or at boot sales without realising they belong to a victim of crime.
“If you have any information, please do call us, no matter how small you think it might be.”
The victim’s niece, Hayley Cooper, said: “The collection has a lot of sentimental value to David and he was very proud of his treasured collection.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Chelmsford CID on 101 quoting crime reference 42/74555/20.
Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.