Shropshire Star

Families left devastated after ornaments stolen from Shropshire graves

Grieving relatives of people buried at a cemetery have been left devastated after thieves stole ornaments and items from graves.

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Kerry Thompson has spoken out after items were taken from the graves.

Mother-of-four Kerry Thompson, aged 46, from Woodside, had placed items by the grave of her father Russell Thompson, who died aged 62, in October 2016.

She had also placed items on the grave of her son Liam, who died aged 22 on June 18, 2019.

Both are at Castle Green Cemetery in Coalbrookdale.

Kerry Thompson and others who have family members buried at Castle Green Cemetery have been left devastated after ornaments were stolen from graves. From left are Kerry Thompson, Heather Myatt, Matthew Owen, Pam Adams, and Sharon Thompson.

Kerry said that she believed the thieves were actually spotted by someone as they dragged a wheelie bin to nearby Church Street, where they are believed to have emptied the stolen items into the boot of a car.

Kerry said: "I had love hearts on my father's grave and children had left sand in bottles from their holidays.

"There was a four foot high lamp post with solar lights behind my father's grave which had been there for about six years.

"My son was mad about camper-vans and I paid about £50 for a metal camper-van garden planter for his grave.

"This was about one foot long and six inches high and I believe this was stolen by the thieves on Sunday, March 12.

"These have all been stolen and about 20 other people have reported similar losses of items from graves through Facebook postings.

"There are a lot of very angry people out there.

"I think that the thieves have either stolen them for use in a garden or to sell to make money.

"Other people have lost garden gnomes, an African grey parrot sculpture and an angel ornament.

"These were all very sentimental things to relatives and I just stood and cried when I saw the things on my family graves had gone.

"The police are now investigating the thefts which we are not sure occurred on one night alone or over several days.

"I have ordered another camper-van ornament as I will not let my son go without one and we have asked for Smart Water pens to mark the items on the graves so that these can be easily traced by police."

An investigation has been launched by West Mercia Police into the thefts.

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