A theft, described by police as ‘an utterly callous act’, has seen memorial plaques taken from a church graveyard in West Sussex.
Officers are investigating after 52 brass plaques marking plots containing cremated ashes were torn from a stone wall at St Margaret’s Church in West Hoathly, near East Grinstead.
Police said the theft was discovered on Wednesday morning (August, 14) and has left the local community devastated.
Police Community Support Officer Daryl Holter said:
“This not only involves metal theft, but the stealing of families’ personal memories of loved ones. It was an utterly callous act showing not a shred of respect for the dead.”
The priest-in-charge at St Margaret’s, Reverend Nicol Kinrade, added:
“This is very distressing for the relatives and for the Church. The scrap value of the metal will be nothing in comparison to the hurt this will cause people.”
Anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area or who may have information is asked to contact police online or by phoning 101, quoting serial 470 of 14/08.
Alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.