Graveyard flower thieves “desperate” and “sickening”

09:22 19 September 2012

Teresa Wright (left) at her nan and grandad

Teresa Wright (left) at her nan and grandad's gravestone with her mother Jean Comley

Archant

A flower thief who has been targeting the grave of a family’s relatives has been dubbed as desperate and “sickening”.

Teresa Wright, 52, has been placing flowers at the graves of her nan and grandad, Catherine and Cyril, for 23 years at Rippleside Cemetery in Barking.

She visits the site almost daily, where she pays her respects not only to her grandparents but also her sister, Tracy Marshall, who died from breast cancer aged 42. But the flowers are only taken from her grandparents’ grave.

“A couple of times I thought it might have been squirrels pulling them out of the vase, but then I thought it was silly and that they couldn’t have taken that many flowers,” said Mrs Wright, of Ilchester Road, Dagenham.

The first theft happened in March and since then thefts have been continuing at random intervals throughout the year. Despite leaving notes to try to deter any further thefts, the family were targeted again last week.

Mrs Wright said her uncle and aunt left flowers at the grave on Saturday, September 8, but by the time she arrived there the following Monday they were gone, along with the vase.

“How desperate can some people be just for a bunch of flowers?” she said. “It’s coming up to the anniversary of my nan’s death this week and the thought of putting flowers down only to have someone take them is sickening.”

After reporting the latest incident to cemetery staff on Wednesday of last week, Mrs Wright insists staff are very helpful but are too few in number to tackle this sort of crime.

A council spokesman said: “We have asked staff to be extra vigilant in the light of these reported incidents. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for staff to tell whether a person removing flowers is genuine or otherwise.”

The council says the problem is compounded by the size of the 31-acre site. The local safer neighbourhoods team has been notified.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Police want to speak to this man in connection with an incident that left a man needing 13 stitches [Photograph from British Transport Police]

A man needed 15 stitches after he was hit in the face with a glass thrown at someone else outside the Hamilton Hall pub in Liverpool Street station.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The suspect thrusts a knife through a window into the driver's face (Picture: Met Police)

CCTV of the shocking moment a bus driver was stabbed in the eye with a Stanley knife through a window in Penge has been released by police.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Ayesha Ali

A mum and her lover have this morning been found guilty of the manslaughter of her eight-year-old daughter – but cleared of murder.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Solomon Bygraves admitted robbing 93-year-old Stanley Evans in Soho (Picture: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)

A callous thug who shoved a frail 93-year-old man to the ground so he could steal just £5 from him has admitted carrying out the ‘sickening’ robbery.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Teen victim Alan Cartwright

Detectives have arrested three people in connection with the murder of Alan Cartwright, 15, the teen who was stabbed to death while riding his bike along Caledonian Road, Islington.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
British Transport Police want to speak to this man after a teenager was hit over the head with a glass bottle

A man was having a friendly chat with a group of strangers on a train from London when, without warning, one of them smashed a glass bottle over his head.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Filmmaker spent two years making a film on the horrific rape and killing of medical student Jyoti Singh.

Read more

Albert Square will welcome the veteran actress for a guest appearance.

Read more

Wax is being sculpted into the shape of some famous sci-fi characters.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

(Not guaranteed)

Mothers Day is fast approaching, so we’ve rounded up some unusual and beautiful gifts for you to dazzle the most important woman in your life come March 15th.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

A man who was dubbed a ‘hot criminal’ has won a modelling contract.

Andrew Mitchell’s wallet is £80,000 lighter today, and his political reputation is in tatters.

His girlfriend has been charged with intending to pervert the course of justice.

Quirky London