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Metal plaques commemorating war veterans stolen from Edmonton’s Griesbach community

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WATCH ABOVE: Residents in Griesbach are devastated after more than 15 plaques honouring war veterans were stolen. Some plaques still stand in the north Edmonton community and residents worry the thieves will be back. Kim Smith reports. – Jul 25, 2017

More than 15 metal plaques honouring Canadian soldiers were forcibly removed and stolen from Edmonton’s Griesbach community.

The community league said the brazen thefts occurred over a two-day period, between Sunday and Monday.

“As a community, we are devastated,” Griesbach Community League president Brad Tilley said.

“Residents take great pride in our neighbourhood’s unique character and the ways it remembers those who sacrificed so much for our country. It is an absolutely senseless and disrespectful crime.”

The large metal plaques sat at the end of the streets in Griesbach, a former military base. Each plaque told the story of a decorated Canadian soldier or battle, some of which date back to the First World War.

“Veterans and their families travel from afar to visit our community and see how it pays tribute to our soldiers,” Tilley said. “It is a real dishonour to those who have served. There are still several plaques within the community. We hope they don’t try to come back to get these as well.”

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READ MORE: Canadian Air Force veterans honoured with monument in Griesbach

Members of the neighbourhood watch noticed a few of the plaques were missing on Monday morning; more were gone by Tuesday morning. In total, 17 plaques are gone.

“Whoever is doing it has the right tools the right equipment and knows how to do it,” Tilley said, adding each plaque costs about $2,500.

While the plaques will be expensive to replace, members of the community say it’s about much more than a dollar figure.

“From the lakes, to the streets, to cul-de-sacs, everything is named on the different people and important events in history,” Bryan Evans said.

“It’s devastating when someone comes in to be so disrespectful to what is the foundation of our country’s history and what our community is built upon.”

Deda Horkey’s dad served in the military. She was shocked by the utter disrespect shown by the person or people responsible for the crime.

“It honestly, it does break your heart,” she said.

“To the people who gave their lives, to the people who the plaques are supposed to be honouring… I mean, what do you say to them? What do you say to the military who are serving?”

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Members of the community league hope the plaques are located intact, but there are fears whoever is responsible for the crime may melt them down and sell the metal. The plaques are made of metal alloy.

Edmonton police are investigating.

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