A man has been arrested and charged with theft following the disappearance of more than 40 bronze plaques from Whenua Tapu Cemetery in July.
Porirua Constable Damian Parker said police had spent several weeks investigating the theft. Thirty-one plaques were chiselled from their concrete casing in the public ashes area, while the rest were prised away from the plots for veterans.
Mr Parker said a 33-year-old Lower Hutt man was arrested after information from the public. It is believed the plaques were broken up and sold to a scrap metal dealer, but some lettering was not filed back properly.
Porirua City Council’s parks and reserves manager Bill Inge said while it is great the alleged offender has been found, the episode had put families through great distress and sadness.
He said local business Neales Foundry had however offered to replace the plaques at cost.
Police now want to hear from the families of the deceased whose plaques were stolen, to help them complete their investigations. Families can contact Mr Parker at Porirua police station on 238 1400.