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Thieves targeting cars parked by mourners at Worthing Crematorium
Callous thieves are preying on grieving relatives while they visit the memorials of lost loved ones.
Mourners at Worthing Crematorium have reported a spate of thefts from cars parked outside the building on Horsham Road.
Last Saturday (Ocotber 27) one woman visited the cemetery to lay flowers in memory of her father only to find her car had been broken into and her handbag stolen.
The “devastated” victim, who did not wish to be named, said bereaved people were being targeted while they were “at their most vulnerable”.
She said: “I was going away for the weekend and on the way I decided to go the crematorium to visit my father, who passed away three years ago.
“My car has privacy windows so you can’t see inside. I noticed a guy standing in the corner of the car park looking shifty but I didn’t think anything of it.
“I went into the cemetery and placed the flowers and started to walk back to the car. I was obviously very upset and thinking about my dad.
“It was only then I realised my car alarm was going off.”
On her return the grief-stricken victim found the back window of her car had been smashed in and her handbag was gone.
Inside were her wallet, keys, driving licence – and the last photo ever taken of her father lying in his hospital bed.
She said: “It makes me so angry and upset. These thieves are picking on people when they are at their most vulnerable. They really are the lowest of the low.
“I can’t believe that someone could do something like this.”
A spokesman from Sussex Police said the force was “considering the possibility” that the thief had been watching when the victim put her handbag in the boot.
Another woman had her handbag stolen from the cemetery car park earlier in the month, but the police spokesman said it was “not possible to say” whether the crimes were linked.
However Worthing Borough Council, which runs the building, confirmed thefts happened there “fairly often”.
A council spokeswoman said: “It’s despicable and upsetting for our visitors that this spate of thefts has taken |place.
“Presumably the thieves think people are an easy target when they are grieving for their loved ones.
“We have signs out informing our visitors that thieves are operating in the area and we do work a lot with the local police to try and stop these from happening.”
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “We always remind drivers not to leave items of apparent value visible or accessible in the cars whenever they are parked anywhere, particularly at isolated and quiet places.”
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