Rage over grave thefts
BRONZE VASES STOLEN, LEAVING MOURNING FAMILIES GUTTED
CALLOUS thieves are stealing from the dead, taking hundreds of bronze vases – with a combined retail price of around $330,000 – from graves at Pinegrove Memorial Park.
The robbers have stolen around 600 of the vases from graves and memorials at the Minchinbury cemetery since the Father’s Day weekend.
Families pay $550 per vase to attach them to their loved ones’ resting places to keep flowers.
Pinegrove family services manager Michael Bridges said his staff were working with police and scrap metal businesses as the hunt for the thieves continues. Pinegrove is also offering
a $5000 reward for information which leads to police catching those responsible.
“Local police are well aware of the thefts and are investigating this matter,” Mr Bridges said.
“The gates of Pinegrove are locked every night, yet we have a large boundary area, and so we are asking for the community’s assist- ance in detecting any breaches to the park border, and also to keep an eye out for suspicious activities.
“If you do see anything suspicious, we urge you to contact police.”
Mr Bridges said the ongoing thefts were distressing to families, especially this close to Christmas.
Mr Bridges said the vases would be replaced but for some, the intrusion was difficult and disappointing.
“Families will have their vases replaced in the new year, however to reduce further thefts, we won’t be replacing them with items made from bronze or other metal,” he said.
A spokesman for Pinegrove said, while the vases retail for $550 each in their ornamental form, when melted down for the bronze they would be worth considerably less.
Mt Druitt crime prevention officer Senior Constable Paul Bates said police were investigating the thefts, and working with Pinegrove management to try and find those responsible.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers 1300 333 000.