SURREY (NEWS 1130) – It’s not what you would expect, but there’s been a theft at a Surrey cemetery and now Mounties are asking for your help to find those responsible.
RCMP say late last month a mother who was visiting her son’s grave noticed the bronze vase used for holding flowers at the site was missing.
The theft, investigators believe, happened sometime over the previous few days at Valley View Funeral Home and Cemetery on 72nd Avenue. When officers followed up with staff, they reported other vases had also been taken.
Mira Miloica can’t believe this is happening and is devastated her son’s vase was taken. “It’s unbelievable. I was angry. Hurt. And for anybody that’s doing anything like that — it’s beyond my apprehension. I think it’s horrible,” says Miloica. “It’s affecting everyone the same way. Some people maybe don’t take it as hard, but I definitely take it hard.”
Staff at the cemetery say it’s working with the families to replace the vases and find ways to secure them so thieves can’t swipe them. “I have never personally dealt with anything like this. I’ve been here for 11 years. I have heard that these things do happen in cemeteries from time to time. Cemeteries are welcoming places, they’re places we encourage the public to be in, but it is truly unfortunate that malicious people will come in and perpetrate something like this,” explains the facility’s Justin Schultz.
He adds they’re trying to come up with ways to make stealing from a gravesite less attractive to thieves. “What we’ve done is decided it’s important to provide some options that are a little less appealing to thieves. What we’ve done is approached some of our suppliers and we’re involved in some ongoing work with them to try and develop something that the content would be less appealing to those that would look to steal them for cash value.”
Police say about 175 vases have been stolen. They suspect the vases were likely stolen by metal thieves who in turn would sell the vases as scrap metal for cash.
Anyone with information is asked to call Surrey RCMP at 604.599.0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.TIPS.