Dutch cemetery memorials, tombs destroyed by copper thieves

A statue of a weeping woman at the Emaus cemetery in Vlaardingen
A statue of a weeping woman at the Emaus cemetery in Vlaardingen . Photo: Wikifrits / Wikimedia Commons

Copper thieves damaged dozens of graves, tombs and memorials at the Emaus Cemetery in Vlaardingen this week by stealing copper tubes from them. The municipality informed the relatives of the affected graves and filed charges with the police, RTV Rijnmond reports.

The graves involved date from the middle of the previous century, the administrator of the cemetery said to the broadcaster. "Back then the trend was to shield graves with poles with copper tubes between them." The poles were torn down and the tubes pulled out. 

He doesn't know how to prevent this type of thievery. "They just climb over the fence and pass their loot between the bars afterwards. Unfortunately there's nothing to do against that."

The administrator believes the thieves want to sell the copper, like that stolen from train rails. "Disgraceful, graves you just leave alone. There are still people walking around, relatives, who will suffer from this."

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