Manchester

Thieves steal memorial plaques from Stockport cemetery

The memorial from which the plaques were stolen
Image caption Councillor John Smith, of Stockport Council, said the thieves were the "lowest of the low"

Thieves have stolen scores of memorial plaques from a cemetery in Greater Manchester.

Two hundred and five brass plaques, for which relatives paid £100, were removed from Highfield Cemetery in Bredbury, Stockport.

It is thought they were stolen to sell for scrap metal.

Councillor John Smith, of Stockport Council, said: "As far as I am concerned, the people that do that are the lowest of the low."

He added: "It is bad enough stealing from somebody but to do it when people have gone through bereavement as well."

"The scrap is quite low compared to the damage, cost and upset caused."

The plaques - which are about 5in by 3in - were attached to a memorial garden within the cemetery by families who had scattered their loved one's ashes.

Tracing relatives

Police confirmed they were investigating the theft, which was carried out between 2 and 9 July.

Mr Smith said some of the plaques date back to the 1960s.

"The family members may have moved away from the area and only visit occasionally so we may not know who the person is until they come to visit.

"We are working hard to trace them all," he added.

He said families were being advised to replace their stolen plaque with a granite or slate one which had little or no resale value.

The council will pay for them to be attached to the garden memorial, he said.

He advised them to contact Stockport Council's bereavement team.

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