FLYING HIGH: Karen and Martin Thomas are overjoyed at the return of Martin's beloved tools and model planes.
FLYING HIGH: Karen and Martin Thomas are overjoyed at the return of Martin's beloved tools and model planes. Clair Morton

Emotions run high as tools, planes recovered

WHEN two police officers pulled up in the driveway of Martin and Karen Thomas's home and popped open the boot of their vehicle, Mr Thomas fell to his knees.

The 65-year-old, overcome with emotion, simply could not believe the beloved tools stolen from him had been returned.

As reported in The Daily Examiner last week, three boxes full of tools accumulated over Mr Thomas's career as an electrical engineer, and four model planes, were taken from the couple's Braunstone property just over a week ago.

The theft devastated Mr Thomas, and was especially deflating because the 65-year-old suffers from Parkinson's disease.

Determined to get them back, Mrs Thomas phoned pawn shops in the area throughout the week, and to her surprise, got a result.

A red toolbox had been pawned in Grafton on Monday. It still had a removalist sticker on it which bore the name Thomas.

"It's been absolutely devastating for my husband, so I was just pulling out all the stops," Mrs Thomas said.

"I didn't expect to see anything come from this."

She quickly phoned Grafton police, who visited the shop, and further investigations led them to a suspect.

Most of Mr Thomas's tools were recovered.

The four model planes were later found in a shed and handed in to the Grafton police station. They too were delivered to Braunstone on Thursday afternoon.

"As soon as the police turned up and he saw what they got, my husband just fell to his knees and burst into tears, joyful tears," Mrs Thomas said.

"At least now he can start to go over it."

"We just want to say thank you so much to Grafton police for all they do.

"They are a fabulous force."

The only thing police could have left with the alleged offender, Mr Thomas joked, was the full can of petrol that was stolen along with tools.

"Now I've got no excuse not to mow the lawn," he laughed.

The suspect has been charged, and is expected to appear in Grafton Local Court in coming weeks.


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