Anguish as gravestones stolen from Darwen churchyard

Lancashire Telegraph: STOLEN: Stones were taken from the graves. STOLEN: Stones were taken from the graves.

GRAVESTONES have been stolen in a 'despicable' raid on a churchyard.

Church officials said the theft of five slabs covering graves in Tockholes Chapel, in Chapels Lane, has caused 'immense distress to the community'.

The chapel gardener noticed the slabs were missing when he cut the grass and also found that several other gravestones have been damaged.

Police say the thefts could have taken place in daylight, with thieves acting as workmen with vans. A police investigation is now underway.

Rev Sarah Moore, of Tockholes Chapel, said: “We consider the deliberate damage and vandalism of graves to be a disrespectful and despicable act that causes immense distress to families and to the community as a whole.

“Where practicable, we hope to contact the families of those interred concerned but as many of the graves are historic, this may not be easy.

“The matter has been reported to the police who are investigating this matter and similar occurrences in the local area.”

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s absolutely disgusting.

"The stones will be worth a fair bit as decorative items, but they are memorials and this shouldn’t happen."

Inspector Wendy Bower, from Darwen CID, said: “Sadly paving stone thefts are common across the county and rural areas are often targeted.

"This is a despicable crime which has a real impact on family members and people in the community.

“Often these type of offences are carried out in broad daylight by criminals posing as workmen.

"They can be difficult to detect and it can be some time before a victim realises that they have been stolen."

Tockholes Councillor Colin Rigby labelled the thieves 'absolute idiots'.

He said: “The thieves do not realise how many people they are hurting.

“It’s a beautiful little place where generation after generation of families have lived, and many people still in the area will know those buried there.”

Comments (7)

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12:11pm Mon 1 Nov 10

time.team says...

Where do all of these sad thieving people come from?
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Note: There is, or now possibly has been an article below this one headed - “New labyrinth opens at Darwen park” - However, it has now closed only after a few hours. Hopefully damage has not been caused already?
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What I was going to post:
A good thought provoking idea but let’s just hope they’re damage proof, extremely heavy and not removable.
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Can I also assume that the text is also available in the statutory sixty odd languages?
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There are ‘Wild Folk’ living in those Blackburn with Darwen hills!
Where do all of these sad thieving people come from? - Note: There is, or now possibly has been an article below this one headed - “New labyrinth opens at Darwen park” - However, it has now closed only after a few hours. Hopefully damage has not been caused already? - What I was going to post: A good thought provoking idea but let’s just hope they’re damage proof, extremely heavy and not removable. - Can I also assume that the text is also available in the statutory sixty odd languages? - There are ‘Wild Folk’ living in those Blackburn with Darwen hills! time.team

12:52pm Mon 1 Nov 10

Temporarily overseas says...

How sick! No doubt the slabs will end up as part of someone's new kitchen floor or on their patio or path with the slabs face down so that the inscriptions can't be shown.

What next, maybe digging up graves just to steal a few pieces of gold jewellery?
How sick! No doubt the slabs will end up as part of someone's new kitchen floor or on their patio or path with the slabs face down so that the inscriptions can't be shown. What next, maybe digging up graves just to steal a few pieces of gold jewellery? Temporarily overseas

3:03pm Mon 1 Nov 10

A Darener says...

Temporarily overseas wrote:
How sick! No doubt the slabs will end up as part of someone's new kitchen floor or on their patio or path with the slabs face down so that the inscriptions can't be shown. What next, maybe digging up graves just to steal a few pieces of gold jewellery?
Oh! no! Now you've given the vermin an idea.
[quote][p][bold]Temporarily overseas[/bold] wrote: How sick! No doubt the slabs will end up as part of someone's new kitchen floor or on their patio or path with the slabs face down so that the inscriptions can't be shown. What next, maybe digging up graves just to steal a few pieces of gold jewellery?[/p][/quote]Oh! no! Now you've given the vermin an idea. A Darener

6:40pm Mon 1 Nov 10

jacqui154 says...

My friends gravestone was stolen and grave desecrated by the deceaseds family!!!after a argument about the funeral. I had paid for the stone myself and this is what the family did now he has been left with no memorial.
My friends gravestone was stolen and grave desecrated by the deceaseds family!!!after a argument about the funeral. I had paid for the stone myself and this is what the family did now he has been left with no memorial. jacqui154

9:03pm Mon 1 Nov 10

Angusam says...

I think this type of crime is sick

If anyone reading this is sick enough to have a tomb stone as a garden piece or monument, I hope that the bad luck associated with wanting this rubs off on your future and I hope that you are haunted for the rest of your unnatural life.

What a thing sick and desperate thing to do...

I have one thing to say "Karma"
I think this type of crime is sick If anyone reading this is sick enough to have a tomb stone as a garden piece or monument, I hope that the bad luck associated with wanting this rubs off on your future and I hope that you are haunted for the rest of your unnatural life. What a thing sick and desperate thing to do... I have one thing to say "Karma" Angusam

6:00am Tue 2 Nov 10

Temporarily overseas says...

Angusam wrote:
I think this type of crime is sick If anyone reading this is sick enough to have a tomb stone as a garden piece or monument, I hope that the bad luck associated with wanting this rubs off on your future and I hope that you are haunted for the rest of your unnatural life. What a thing sick and desperate thing to do... I have one thing to say "Karma"
I agree. I've never heard of this happening before but it just shows how bad some people are nowadays.
[quote][p][bold]Angusam[/bold] wrote: I think this type of crime is sick If anyone reading this is sick enough to have a tomb stone as a garden piece or monument, I hope that the bad luck associated with wanting this rubs off on your future and I hope that you are haunted for the rest of your unnatural life. What a thing sick and desperate thing to do... I have one thing to say "Karma"[/p][/quote]I agree. I've never heard of this happening before but it just shows how bad some people are nowadays. Temporarily overseas

5:59am Wed 3 Nov 10

planahath says...

Symptomatic of the truly pathetic and wretched state of current British society. Graves being stolen and vandalised, charity money being stolen by scum, antisocial youths misusing fireworks, elderly people being prayed upon by vermin, firemen being attacked by scum, kiddies playgrounds being vandalised, gangs of youths terrorising neighbourhoods, yobs fighting when the night clubs close etc. Where does it end? These politicians make me sick. They do nothing about it. The police are so under-resourced that they also are pretty useless. And the justice system is ridiculously lenient. It amazes me how people from overseas (the US and Canada) think that the UK is a lovely place. They just haven't got a clue about what is going on.
Symptomatic of the truly pathetic and wretched state of current British society. Graves being stolen and vandalised, charity money being stolen by scum, antisocial youths misusing fireworks, elderly people being prayed upon by vermin, firemen being attacked by scum, kiddies playgrounds being vandalised, gangs of youths terrorising neighbourhoods, yobs fighting when the night clubs close etc. Where does it end? These politicians make me sick. They do nothing about it. The police are so under-resourced that they also are pretty useless. And the justice system is ridiculously lenient. It amazes me how people from overseas (the US and Canada) think that the UK is a lovely place. They just haven't got a clue about what is going on. planahath

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