Thieves lurking in cemeteries

HEARTLESS thieves have been stealing headstone plaques from cemeteries, leaving families distressed and out of pocket.

Coffs Harbour City Council says at least six bronze headstone plaques have been stolen from the Woolgoolga Lawn Cemetery.

“Unfortunately, the stealing of plaques or damage to graves is not uncommon,” said the council’s general manager, Steve McGrath.

“The plaques are bronze and we understand the amount of bronze used is of little value as scrap metal and scrap metal merchants are required by law to record the identity of the sellers.

“However, the purchase price of one of these commemorative plaques ranges from $380 to $520.

“So, not only have these thefts caused distress to the families involved but they now have to face the cost of replacing the plaques.”

The council has tried to contact all the families involved to alert them to the thefts. The plaque supplier has also been contacted and has offered to replace the plaques at a discounted price.

“We are in the process of checking the condition of the plaques at both the Woolgoolga Lawn Cemetery and the Coffs Harbour Lawn Cemetery,” Mr McGrath said.

“We are also asking the community to help prevent another incident like this by reporting any suspicious behaviour at the cemeteries directly to the police or to council on 6648 4000.”

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