A grieving mother has spoken of her heartbreak after thieves targeted her son’s grave in South Anston cemetery.
Natalie Warrington, from North Anston, tragically lost her 21-year-old son Luke to cancer 18 months ago.
She recently installed solar lights around his gravestone at the cemetery on Sheffield Road, but was left ‘devastated’ when she visited the plot one morning and discovered the lights had been snatched.
Said Natalie: “We had two terrible years of seeing Luke suffer, and I go up to see him every day because it brings me comfort to know he’s at peace.”
“I went up one day to check on him and thought the grave looked a bit bare. As I moved closer, I saw someone had taken the solar lights I had previously placed around the grave. It has caused me even more distress.”
“This isn’t the first theft from the cemetery. I have spoken to other visitors who have had items stolen from the graves of loved ones. A lady told me lights had been stolen from her baby’s grave, too.”
“Who would do this? Where do these people come from? It’s a lovely cemetery and I would never have expected this to happen. It’s just so heartless.”
Councillor Jo Burton, of Anston Parish Council, is part of a community group that strives to improve the cemetery.
She said: “We are very saddened to hear of the theft and will be discussing the matter further.”
“There is little that we can do at present- installing CCTV would be inappropriate and locking the gates would mean visitors don’t have access to the graves of loved ones.”
“We would, however, encourage anyone who experiences these thefts to contact the police. If we can establish a pattern of behaviour it may help us catch the thief and prevent this problem from happening in the future.”