Police in Wolverhampton are appealing for the publicâ€™s help to identify the owners of items suspected of being stolen from memorials in Bushbury.
The appeal comes after a 47-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft following a number of reports over the last six months about ornaments being stolen from the local crematorium.
Around 32 items were recovered from an address in the Scotlands area of Wolverhampton – searched as a result of the arrest – and officers are currently trying to establish where they may have come from.
Officers from Bushbury and Low Hill Neighbourhood team have worked closely with staff at the crematorium to try and stop the recent thefts including: increasing patrols, gaining access to the site 24 hours a day to deter offenders and speaking to the local media to raise awareness of the issue so people can be vigilant.
PC Paul Johnson said: “This type of theft is extremely distressful to those who have already gone through the grief of losing someone close to them.
“If the items we have recovered have been stolen, then we hope that returning them to their rightful owners will offer at least some consolation.
“We take these thefts extremely seriously and we will take action when we are made aware of them.
“However, we suspect many have gone unreported and we would urge not only those who may own the ornaments in the pictures to come forward but also, anyone else who has had items stolen to get in touch.”
Cllr John Reynolds, cabinet member for city services at Wolverhampton City Council said: “People have been rightly outraged by these thefts from gravesides at our cemeteries.
“We enjoy an excellent relationship with West Midlands Police and have worked closely with them to tackle this problem.
“I would urge anyone who thinks they might have been a victim of these thefts to contact the police and hopefully get reunited with the items of priceless sentimental value.”
The man arrested in connection with the thefts remains on police bail while inquiries continue.
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.