THE second theft of rare items from the Ballina RSL Sub-Branch Museum in two years has left assistant curator Bill Thompson shaking his head.
Clearly angered by the latest incident, Mr Thompson pleads with the culprit to bring back the donated pieces - no questions asked.
The Ballina RSL Sub-Branch Museum is located in the Ballina RSL Club.
Mr Thompson discovered the broken glass top of one of the display cabinets on June 27.
Inside were between 200 and 300 World War II medals, badges and unit colour patches from various Allied forces donated by local man Mr Cullen, who began the collection while a Prisoner of War in the infamous Changi Gaol.
"It was a top collection," Mr Thompson said.
"He did some wheeling and dealing to obtain them all.
"And he probably would have had to hide them from guards."
Mr Cullen donated the items about two years ago, and has since passed away.
The thieves pried open one of the cabinet-top locks to make a space that Mr Thompson said only a small hand could fit in to take the items.
"It's disappointing," Mr Thompson said.
"They're (the medals) there for the benefit of the public.
"So many people come here and admire these things."
This theft follows the previous theft of a rare Z Force flag. Z Force was an Australian special forces unit in World War II.
The Ballina RSL Sub-Branch Museum has a security camera, and the theft was reported to police.
Mr Thompson asked club members to also keep a watch on the museum - which is popular among locals and visitors alike - and report suspicious activity.