Kenneth Dunston has been left distraught following the theft of his scab collection.
Dunstan, 52 from Ryde on the Isle of Wight, discovered the theft on Sunday morning when he returned from the Ryde twenty-four hour bowls marathon.
"It's terrible," he said, after speaking to the police over the theft. "I've been collecting my scabs since I was four. I keep them in a special box."
According to Dunstan, the scabs were all in small numbered envelopes detailed when and where each scab had been earned. The envelopes were kept in a special rosewood box on the mantelpiece in the living room. From the scabs collected after learning to ride his bike, to the more recent ones collected after drunken nights out and walking home down a gravel path in the dark, each one has a story and Dunstan is quite upset at their theft.
"Each scab was carefully removed," he said. "I never picked at them until they were ready to come off in one go. Then I'd remove them, and put them in an envelope with the story behind the scab."
It is not the loss of the dried blood and hair that has left Dunstan feeling violated, but the loss of a long series of memories.
With the scab collection the only item stolen during the evening or night of Saturday, police are at a loss.
"We're at a loss," said Jenn Darme, of Newport's Serious Theft squad. "If it had been a DVD player, we could be looking at the local fences. But how do you sell on a box of scabs? We don't know of anybody who collects other people's scabs. However, we are hopeful of a break in the case, should we ever discover somebody who needs four dozen scraps of dried blood."
Mrs Dunstan, Kenneth's wife, is not as upset as her husband.
"I'm glad they've gone," she said. "The box was nice. I've got a new jewellery box just like it. But the scabs, ugh, disgusting. Good riddance I say."