A £1,000 reward has been put up for information leading to the conviction of burglars who wrecked Southsea’s D-Day Museum and stole charity cash.
Shocked staff had to abandon the reopening ceremony after raiders smashed the glass entrance door with a concrete block and stole £100 of Poppy Appeal donations.
Now publisher Nigel Hallett, 43, whose grandfather Captain Thomas Morgan served in the Light Infantry in the D-Day landings, is pledging his own cash for any information leading to a satisfactory conviction of the culprits.
Mr Hallett said: ‘I refuse to let them get away with it.
‘Like most people, I had grandparents who served in the war and we are all here because of them.
‘My grandfather was in the D-Day landings.
‘I think there’s enough going on in this country at the moment that’s really depressing.’
Mr Hallett, from East Knoyle, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, added: ‘It’s so important that youngsters do realise the contribution the veterans have made.’
Meanwhile the city council says it has had 14 donations totalling more than £200 from shocked well-wishers.
The museum’s new entrance in Clarence Parade, Southsea, was due to be opened by Lord Mayor of Portsmouth councillor Frank Jonas in the presence of service veterans on Tuesday, hours after the 1am break-in.
Police say they are following several leads to find suspects linked to the burglary.
Two men were seen near the museum at the time.
They are believed to have fled the scene in a red hatchback car.
The first suspect is white, 5ft 6in to 5ft 7in tall, aged in his 20s, of skinny build and wearing dark clothing
The second is described as white, aged in his 20s, skinny and wearing dark clothing.
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555111 where information can be left anonymously.