The thieves who broke into Les Arnould's home can keep the money they took; all he wants back are the love letters from his late wife.
After spending a week helping his 95-year-old mother in-law settle into a Canberra retirement village, the retired serviceman returned last week to find his Surf Beach home broken into.
Taken was a small safe filled with collectible coins, cash, sentimental photographs, passports, birth certificates and most important to Mr Arnould - letters from his wife Annette during his time at war.
Mr Arnould said the thieves had jimmied a window lock.
"It didn't seem like a normal break-in," he said.
"Nothing was touched or out of place besides a quilt and tablecloth they had used to slide the safe down the stairs.
"It's as though they knew what they were after," he said. "I have no idea who it could have been."
Now he just hopes they will post his letters and sentimental photos back: "I'm not going to chase down whoever returns them - if they can't pay for postage, I will."
They can be delivered to the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club or to POB 3152, Batehaven.