Grave thieves strike for a second time at Ackworth Cemetery

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express.'Story: Ackworth cemetery has become the target of grave thefts.'L to R) Dave Johnson - Parish councillor, Pat Garbutt - Parish councillor, Harry Malkin - Parish councillor, Alan Garbutt - Vice Chair of both Parish council & Village Facilities, Sarah Balfour - Chair of Parish council, Sue Templeman - Parish Clerk.'Photo date: 15/07/15'Picture Ref: AB129a0715
Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express.'Story: Ackworth cemetery has become the target of grave thefts.'L to R) Dave Johnson - Parish councillor, Pat Garbutt - Parish councillor, Harry Malkin - Parish councillor, Alan Garbutt - Vice Chair of both Parish council & Village Facilities, Sarah Balfour - Chair of Parish council, Sue Templeman - Parish Clerk.'Photo date: 15/07/15'Picture Ref: AB129a0715
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Thieves have stolen flowers and cherished mementoes from graves in Ackworth cemetery for the second time in four months.

Sue Templeman, Ackworth Parish Council clerk, said thieves targeted the Doncaster Road site last week.

She said grieving relatives had reported that a metal stake, solar lights and other memorial items had been stolen from the graves of their loved ones.

Mrs Templeman said: “Those who have done this are the lowest of the low. I don’t think you can get much worse than stealing from a grave.

“I just can’t imagine why anybody would want to do it.

“They are people’s memories and people are coming in without a care in the world and taking them away - it’s just unbelievable.”

The latest thefts follow a spree in July where solar lights were stolen from the grave of former Pontefract New College student Rory Embling who died suddenly at the age of just 26.

Mrs Templeman said two families had reported thefts from their relatives’ graves within the last week.

She said thieves had also stolen a metal stake which had been put in place for a funeral the following day.

She said: “They just don’t think about what they’re doing at all.

“It is not the value of the items stolen it’s the upset it causes.”

Mrs Templeman said the thefts had caused “considerable upset” for the families .

She asked anyone who has also had items stolen from their graves at Ackworth Cemetery to contact the parish council on 01977 611583.

People should also report thefts to the Wakefield South East neighbourhood police team (NPT) by calling 101.