Theft at graveyard leaves family angry

A Lisburn family are offering a reward for the return of two artificial trees that were stolen from New Blaris Cemetery.

Plants have been stolen from memorial seats at Blaris Road cemetery - US1423-567cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

The trees and large ornamental pots had been placed some months ago at the graveyard by the family who attend the graveyard daily. The trees were positioned beside two summer seats - a place where the family would often rest and reflect.

It is thought that the sentimental items were stolen sometime on Sunday.

Members of the Knockburn family made the grim discovery, on Monday morning when they visited the grave.

One member of the family said that the theft has left them all distraught.

“We were talking to someone else who said that they had ornaments stolen from their grave,” said the woman.

“We had a bunch of flowers to place but when we visited it because someone had stolen the ornaments he had nowhere to place the flowers.

“We have been told that other people have had stuff stolen which is a total disgrace.

“We visit the family grave every day. Nothing like this has ever happened before.”

The woman continued, “This has left us very distressed. We are left shocked but disgusted as well. Obviously, someone has stolen these and maybe put them in front of their house.

“How can anyone come out of their house knowing that they have been stolen and taken from a graveyard?

“We feel that whoever the thieves are must have used a vehicle to transport them.

“I am sure thefts are happening from the grave all the time and are just not being reported. There does not seem to be any security or anything at the graveyard.”

She urged anyone who may have any information of the whereabouts of the stolen items to ring 07449538958.

A spokesperson for Lisburn City Council said that whilst they have not received any reports of thefts from graves they would urge anyone who has experienced problems to contact them.

“Lisburn City Council has not received any complaint regarding a recent theft at New Blaris Cemetery,” said a spokesperson.

“Security patrols are in operation on Friday and Saturday evenings within the Cemetery.

“The Council is not responsible for ornaments or shrubbery left on graves, it roundly condemns any person involved in the unauthorised removal of such belongings. We remain sympathetic the distress that such actions cause to the family. Anybody witnessing such activity should ring 028 92673417.”