A Junee antiques shop owner who lost an estimated $50,000 worth of antiques and jewellery to a burglary has said the theft puts her retirement at risk.
'April's Antiques and Collectables' owner Margaret Cutler said she was reduced to tears after finding out that her Lorne Street store had been broken into about 5am on Saturday and numerous distinctive items had been stolen.
Her losses included Victorian mourning jewellery, a silver skull, tortoise shell and ivory card cases, gold watches and rings, a percussion-fired Derringer pistol made in 1868 and a World War II German bayonet.
"It is devastating. I spent Saturday crying on and off and Sunday morning I just couldn't cope when I returned to the shop. I just sat out the back and bawled for half an hour," she said.
Ms Cutler said she wanted the distinctive items back after having collected them over many years.
"Selling them was going to be part of funding my retirement along with my super," she said.
"I hope they do turn up after the police appeal as the items were so distinctive."
Riverina Police District investigators have called for anyone with information about the burglary to come forward.
Inspector Brett Collins said the Lorne Street business was broken into overnight between June 4 and 5.
"A male person has gained entry to the premises and stolen a number of antique jewellery and an antique pistol as well," Inspector Collins said.
"We're seeking any information from the public, if they could contact Crime Stoppers or their local police station."
Inspector Collins said the man entered and exited the premises via an air-conditioning vent.
"You would certainly have to be flexible to take the route they did to gain entry and exit via the same point," he said.
Inspector Collins said the pistol was "quite old".
"It is concerning that any pistol is out there. Given the age of the pistol and the manner in which it could be used, it gives great concern to us."
Ms Cutler said the pistol that was stolen no longer functioned.
Anyone with information about the incident, or who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time, can contact Wagga police station on 6922 2599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.