A WOMAN has told how she has been left “destroyed and heartbroken” after her father’s grave was disturbed by thieves for the eighth time in as many years.
Kathleen Brown, 38, said she visited the resting place of her dad, Raymond Brown, on Wednesday and discovered the small white fence she had placed around it had gone, along with a number of ornaments on which his name was engraved.
And although the gravestone in Blaeberryhill Cemetery, Whitburn, was not damaged, she said a bunch of carnations placed next to it had been taken.
Ms Brown said the total value of the stolen items was around £130 and revealed the same grave had previously been targeted on or around May 25 – the date of her late father’s birthday – in each of the past seven years.
Officers are now investigating to establish whether the offences are linked.
Ms Brown, who has a ten-year-old son, said: “This has left me totally destroyed, heart-broken, upset.
“My dad died from a massive heart attack when he was 56. He was a gentleman. He would help anybody. He would go to the shops for people and in the winter, he would clean the paths. He would not harm anybody.”
And she revealed the string of thefts had left her fearful that the grave was being deliberately targeted by someone with knowledge of her family.
“I think they could be linked but I do not know,” she said.
“At the end of the day they have basically just left me destroyed. When this happened before, we could not get the ornaments back.
“They are gone forever and I’m worried I won’t see these ones again either. I have no idea why my dad’s grave is being stolen from.”
She added: “I was just saying to the police today that I feel like sleeping at my dad’s grave – staying there all the time.”
Ms Brown said she had thought about relocating the gravestone following previous thefts but added: “I cannot move it – that is where my dad is buried.
“My son never ever met his grandad. He’s also destroyed, upset.”
Police said the incident happened sometime between May 25 and June 17, and urged anyone with information to come forward.
Constable James Fordyce said: “This is a despicable theft, which has caused considerable distress to the woman and her family, who have previously had to report a number of similar incidents to police over the years.
“We want to hear from anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity around the cemetery or who can help us trace the thieves. If you have information relevant to our inquiry then please contact police immediately.”