HEARTLESS thieves are stealing tributes left at a cemetery in Purbeck by a family grieving the death of a young man.

The family of the man who died around a year ago and has not been named, have seen various items stolen from his graveside at the God’s Acre Cemetery in West Street, Corfe Castle, taken during the past six to eight months.

The most recent theft involved flowers being taken between 4.30pm Friday, March 2 and 10.30am on Saturday, March 3.

Other items taken from the site in recent months include vases, stone signs, lanterns and flowers.

Police say the thefts have generally occurred at night.

Police Constable Charley Dunstan, of Dorset Police, said: “These thefts have obviously caused a great deal of distress to the family at a very difficult time.

“The victims are sure that these items have not simply blown away or been removed by cemetery staff and have in fact been stolen.

“I am appealing for anyone who has witnessed any suspicious activity around the cemetery or who has any information about these thefts to contact police.

“I would also make a direct appeal to those responsible to have a conscience and do the right thing by coming forward to put an end to this terribly upsetting experience for the family.

“I would also like to hear from anyone else who has experienced similar incidents at the cemetery.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55180029532.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.