Heart-broken Sheffield woman appeals after callous thieves steal prestigious Finnish honour

Leena Lee wearing her medal and the medal itself.
Leena Lee wearing her medal and the medal itself.
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A Sheffield resident is appealing for help after callous thieves stole a medal bestowed on her by the Government of Finland.

Leena Lee was awarded the Cross of Merit or the Order of the Lion of Finland in 2003, for services to the Finnish community in the UK.

Leena being presented with the honour by the Finnish ambassador.

Leena being presented with the honour by the Finnish ambassador.

However, sometime overnight between Friday 10 and Saturday 11 August , thieves entered her unlocked Southgrove Road house, ransacking a downstairs room and taking her medal.

She is now appealing to members of the public for help in tracking it down, and even promises a reward for anyone who has information that would bring about its safe return.

She said: "It has very big sentimental value. Usually it is men who get this for their work not a housewife. It is like the OBE of Finland.

"I can live without it but it has angered me. They won't even realise what they have got.

"It was my fault for leaving the back door open but I don't think anyone has the right to go in somebody's house, locked or unlocked."

Other than the medal, the thieves only took a few cojns from her purse, leaving the bank cards totally untouched.

The medal itself is silver or silver plate and very heavy with a red ribbon. Local jewelers have also been informed in case the burglars decide to cash in on the item's physical value.

Leena moved to the UK 47 years ago to study but stayed in Sheffield after meeting her future husband.

She has since worked for ex-pat Finns in the UK, organising events and get-togethers, and was honoured for this by her home Government 15 years ago.

The heart-broken 73-year-old - who in her spare time is an accomplished weaver - says she will offer the reward to anyone except the thieves themselves.

"If I see them they will get a weaver's hook," she said.

Anyone with any information about the medal is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 91 of Saturday, August 11.

Alternatively you can email information to daniel.hayes@jpress.co.uk and it will be passed on to Leena.