Thieves target visitors to cemetery

Sick thieves have targeted an elderly man and woman who were tending to the graves of loved ones, and then stole from them.

On Sunday June 2, an 88-year-old man was in Preston Cemetery on Walton Avenue in North Shields when he left his jacket on a park bench while he visited a grave, but while he was distracted his wallet which contained cash was stolen.

It happened between midday and 1.30pm.

A similar incident happened in May when an elderley woman had her purse stolen which contained sentimental photographs of her children who are both deceased.

It happened between 1.45pm and 2.45pm on Friday, May 17, when the victim, a woman aged in her 80s, was in the garden of remembrance when she was approached by a man who stole her shopping trolley.

He emptied the contents and made off with her purse which is a red leather one from Marks and Spencer.

Inspector Geoff Cross said: “This is a particularly disgusting crime bearing in mind that the victim was tending to a grave when the offender has struck.

“Around the time of the theft there was a number people in the cemetery and we are appealing for anyone who saw or knows anything about this theft to come forward with information.

“We had a similar incident in the park on May 17 when an elderly woman was targeted.

“We have stepped up patrols in the cemetery and surrounding areas as a precaution and to reassure residents.

“Help us stop this type of crime by keeping belongings on you and not leaving them accessible to opportunist thieves.

“This type of behaviour will not be tolerated in North Tyneside and I’d urge anyone with information to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with any information into the theft is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191.