Cemetery theft: Family at wits' end after offenders target them again

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Cemetery theft: Family at wits' end after offenders target them again

Thieves have struck again at Havelock North Cemetery, leaving a grieving family at their wits’ end.

Headstones have been raided at the cemetery on at least four occasions in recent months by “gutter rat” thieves taking pots and plants and various mementoes from plots.

The D’Esposito family featured in a Hawke’s Bay Today article last week calling on thieves to stop the cruel behaviour and return goods taken from the gravesites of two loved ones.

Just a few days later both gravesites were again targeted and a series of garden pots stolen between Sunday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

“It is just disgusting,” said Karina D’Esposito, whose son is buried at the cemetery.

“We have had enough now.”

Cemetery theft: Family at wits' end after offenders target them again

The head stones on Tuesday morning following the thefts. Photo / Supplied

She said one of the pots taken was extremely heavy and it could not have been taken by kids.

“It would have had to have been Monday night or Sunday night,” she estimated. “All of the pots have gone.”

She said she was reporting the incident to police and said the council could potentially padlock the gates at night to help curb the issue.

Police called on the public to report any suspicious activity near the cemetery by calling Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

A Hastings District Council spokeswoman said the thefts were “disappointing”.

“We ask the public to please respect other people’s property in our cemeteries,” she said.

“The gates are not currently shut and locked at Havelock North Cemetery at night. However, even if the gates were closed to vehicles in Havelock North it would not restrict pedestrian traffic throughout the grounds.”

The thieves have been labelled “gutter rats” by the family of Daniel D’Esposito and step-brother Jason McCarthy, who are buried next to each other at the cemetery.

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