Police are investigating after 16 bronze memorial plaques were stolen from two local parks and a cemetery in Oakville, Ont.
One of the stolen plaques was taken from a bench at Lakeside Park in memory of Jack Pitt, who died of cancer in 2001.
His family is heartbroken.
“For all of us it’s really quite a devastating thing,” said Pitt’s daughter Jenny Pitt-Clark. “It’s actually had a terrible impact on my mother.”
The memorial was placed in the park because it was one of Pitt’s favourite places. He spent years there enjoying picnics with family, sailing and going on walks.
It’s also where he fell in love.
“My father took my mother here on their very first date 60-odd years ago,” said Pitt-Clark. “Ten days later he proposed to her.”
But Pitt’s plaque is just one of 16 bronze memorials that have been stolen in Oakville.
Several were also stolen at George’s square not far from Lakeside park and St. Mary’s cemetery.
“The town is aware that memorial bench plaques were taken and have notified the Halton Regional Police,” read a statement from the Town of Oakville.
“We are contacting affected families and notifying them of our plans to replace the plaques immediately.”
Town officials say all of the plaques will be replaced and will be installed with tamper proof screws as a deterrent for future thieves.
Pitt-Clark suspects the person or people who stole the bronze plaques sold them for scrap metal.
Depending on the scrap yard, bronze can go for more than $180 a pound.
“I have real anger towards these individuals and I’m certainly going to make it my mission in my life to maybe get some more regulation so that they can’t do this sort of thing,” Pitt-Clark said.
“We can replace a plaque but it’s always going to be a point of sadness that this happened.”