Eindhoven man, 22, arrested for grave robbing, desecration

The police arrested a 22-year-old man from Eindhoven in connection with multiple cases of grave robbing and -desecration at cemeteries in the Eindhoven and Veldhoven region. During searches performed as part of the investigation, the police found ash remain likely stolen from crematoriums and cemeteries. "Detectives are making every effort to determine who these remains are from", the police said in a statement on Wednesday.

This investigation was launched early in June, after two incidents of graves being desecrated at the same cemetery in Veldhoven. One child's grave was opened completely, and another grave was partially dug out. "The graves seemed to be more or less randomly chosen targets", the police said. During the investigation, the police linked multiple other cases of vandalism and thefts from cemeteries in the region, including the one on Anthony Fokkerweg in Eindhoven, to this case.

Partly thanks to a number of good tips, the investigation led the police to the 22-year-old man from Eindhoven. He was arrested on Tuesday and is in custody for "extensive" questioning. The police are currently investigating whether this suspect is responsible for a total of 10 specific cases of theft and vandalism at cemeteries. "At this stage there is no clarity about his motives", the police said. 

The suspect's home and a number of locations in Veldhoven were searched It was during these searches that the police found ash remains. 

The relatives of the people in the affected graves, the owners of the stolen urns, and the managers of the cemeteries have been informed about the arrest. The police ask anyone affected by a similar theft or vandalism that did not report it, to come forward.