A 76-year-old New Brunswick man said he hopes his father’s irreplaceable war medals will be returned to him after they were stolen from his home while he was out receiving treatment for cancer.

Allan Colbourne said he was recently in Saint John for treatment for his prostate and colon cancers when his home in Plaster Rock, N.B. was burglarized.

“Everything was strewn all around,” Colbourne told CTV Atlantic on Friday. “My papers, everything here, inside the bedroom… That’s where I had the medals and stuff hidden, underneath some clothes in a box and the box was empty.”

The retired forest ranger said the thieves took his father’s five war medals along with several other items, including his television and chequebook.

“War medals, you can’t replace them,” he said. “They mean a great deal to me because I was going to pass them on to my son who was in the service.”

Cpl. Galienne Mathieu of the RCMP West District confirmed they’re actively investigating the case. Police said they believe it may be related to a fraud call they received last month when someone attempted to cash stolen cheques at a bank.

Mathieu said they’re trying to determine if there’s a link between the two cases by checking the bank’s video surveillance.

Richard Myles said he lives across the street from Colbourne and checks in on him periodically.

“It’s just hard to believe,” he said. “But there’s been a rash of break-ins in this whole area around here in the last two years and it’s been ongoing.”

Colbourne said he’ll be concerned about his belongings the next time he has to leave his home for a cancer treatment in the city.

“One of the reasons I can’t sleep is I worry,” he said. “I’m just here alone. I’m 76.”