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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The lowest of the low: Woman caught on CCTV 'stealing flowers from schoolboy's grave' after family were forced to install camera in cemetery tree

By Emma Reynolds

Shocking: A woman appears to steal tributes left in a cemetery by a dead schoolboy's grieving relatives

These are the shocking pictures that appear to show a vile woman stealing from the grave of a schoolboy.

The family of the 11-year-old, who was killed by a car in 1980, installed a CCTV camera at the cemetery in Barking, Essex, after repeated thefts of gifts they had left there.

They were horrified when the footage seemed to show a woman callously taking flowerpots from the youngster's grave and shoving them into her handbag.

Horrifying: The footage seems to show her casually loading two large bags with items from the grave

Steve Rose, the dead boy's cousin, set up the motion sensor camera in a tree at Rippleside Cemetery after the devastated family's tributes of ornaments and flowers disappeared every fortnight for 18 months.

Mr Rose, 37, said: 'I was only six when he died. My aunt, who died two years ago, never got over it.

'That's why it's such a terrible thing for us.'

The grieving family had begged the thieves to stop, but were ignored.

London cab driver Mr Rose, of Walthamstow, added: 'We have left signs asking them to stop stealing but that didn't deter them. It's just callous.'

Heartless: The woman walks away from the dead boy's grave, seemingly carrying the flowers left by his devastated family

A Met Police spokeswoman said: 'Police are appealing for information concerning the identity of the woman pictured.

'She is wanted for questioning by police in connection with the theft of floral tributes from graves in Rippleside Cemetery.

'Police do understand that thefts of this type are hugely distressing for relatives.'

Mr Rose said cemetery staff had allowed him to install the camera. Barking and Dagenham Council said thefts from its cemetery were 'rare' and promised to co-operate with police.

But a spokesman refused to comment on the woman caught in Mr Rose's photos.



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