Flowers ‘stolen’ from boy’s grave in Barking

Police seek woman seen on camera at cemetery

A distraught family has released images appearing to show a woman stealing flowers from the grave of a boy killed in a tragic car crash.

Cab driver Steve Rose, 37, placed a motion sensor camera at Rippleside Cemetery in Barking after a spate of thefts from the resting place of his cousin, who died aged 11 in 1980.

Distressing stills appear to show the woman kneel beside the family grave, put flower pots in a bag and walk off.

The family put the camera in a tree as a last resort after noticing ornaments had vanished almost every fortnight in the last 18 months.

Mr Rose said: “I was only six years old when he died.

“My aunt, who died two years ago, never got over it. That’s why it’s such a terrible thing for us.”

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Steve’s cousin was buried at the cemetery in Ripple Road after a collision with a car in Barking.

His parents died years later and have been interred next to his grave.

The family believe apparent thefts from the cemetery are random, rather than personal.

Images recorded on November 19 seem to show a woman looking behind her, then kneeling at the grave before putting flower pots in a bag.

However, other images taken on October 29 appear to show a woman of a similar appearance go past the grave of the Barking family without stopping.

Walthamstow cabbie Steve added: “We have left signs asking they stop stealing but that didn’t deter them. It’s callous.”

The Met Police are investigating a theft allegation at Rippleside Cemetery in Ripple Road.

A spokeswoman said: “Police are appealing for information concerning the identity of the woman pictured, who is wanted for questioning by police in connection with the theft of floral tributes from graves in Rippleside Cemetery.

“Police do understand that thefts of this type are hugely distressing for relatives.”

Mr Rose said cemetery staff had allowed him to place the camera in a tree.

Barking and Dagenham Council said thefts from its cemetery were “rare” and vowed to co-operate with the police investigation but declined to comment on the woman seen in the photos.

Anyone with information is urged to call Pc Alyssa Milton on 020 3276 1091 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.