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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Thieves steal crematorium plaques
Missing plaques
Some of the stolen plaques are replacements after earlier thefts
Hundreds of bronze plaques have been stolen from a Kent crematorium for the second time in two months.

Maidstone council said 270 bronze plaques were stolen in the first raid, and a further 500 were taken on Monday.

Staff at Vinters Park Crematorium are working to identify missing plaques, manager Debra Herbert-Evers said.

She said staff would have to tell some families their plaques had been taken for a second time. A Kent Police investigation is under way.

I cannot believe anyone could be so heartless
Debra Herbert-Evers

Ch Insp Ian Hall said: "We take an extremely dim view of this type of callous crime and it is quite clear that the perpetrators have no feeling or compassion."

Alison Broom, director of operations at the council, said the authority would be "working very closely with the police to prevent it happening again".

Plaques replaced

Ms Herbert-Evers said identifying all the missing plaques was a difficult job that was set to take "many days".

She said: "It is distressing for my staff and the families concerned.

"We'll do all that we can to help people who want to know if their plaques have been stolen but it might be some time before we have a full list.

"I cannot believe anyone could be so heartless. We are still replacing plaques after the first thefts and now we are going to have to tell some families that their plaques have been stolen again."

All plaques are being replaced by Maidstone council, which is writing to families involved.




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