Appeal after thief targets graveyards

Graves at Wigan Crematorium were ransacked by a thief
Graves at Wigan Crematorium were ransacked by a thief
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A callous thief has stolen thousands of pounds worth of aluminium pots from a Wigan cemetery.

A large number of graves were ransacked at Wigan Crematorium on Warrington Road, Lower Ince, between 3pm on March 19 and midday on March 20 by the unknown thief who stole aluminium pots worth £4,000.

This was followed by a second theft which took place between March 21 and 24 at Westwood Cemetery, Westwood Lane in Lower Ince.

The offender stole a collection of flower pots from a number of different graves, to the value of £160.

There is currently no description of the offender.

Constable Sean Robinson said: “We are appealing for any information at all about this reprehensible crime.

“To steal from graves is sacrilege, it is an act which dishonours the memory of those who have passed away and causes enormous emotional distress to their families and loved ones.

“I daresay that someone visiting the cemeteries may have seen someone collecting these pots from graves, and may be able to assist us with a description of the offender.

“Similarly, it is likely these stolen items would have been taken to a scrap dealer, so I would like to appeal to any such dealers in the area to keep an eye out and report any such items to police.

“Lastly, I would like the offender to search their own conscience. Imagine it was your loved one’s grave which had been ransacked, how you would feel?

“Do the right thing and return the stolen items to the families of those people whose graves you have desecrated.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting incident number 290316/1044 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Have you or your family been affected? Please contact reporter Sophie Arnold by calling 01942 506394 or emailing sophie.arnold@jpress.co.uk.