Several graves markers have recently been targeted by thieves at the Keephills Cemetery in Parkland County.
Over the weekend, Kelly Teague’s uncle went out to pay his respects at the family’s plot site when he noticed the copper plaques marking his family’s remains were gone.
“I can’t really believe that someone would do it,” Teague said as he examined the vandalized sites. “Our family is shaken up.”
Teague said his sister recently visited the plot where nine of his family members are buried, so he believes they were taken in the last week.
The plaques for his grandparents, mother, nephew and two stepfathers are all missing and his family believes they were removed using a grinder. His sister’s grave marker was also badly damaged. It appears someone tried to take the plaque but was unable to remove it.
“The people or person who did this should be embarrassed,” Teague said.
“What if it was your family?” he asked. “Would you want someone to do that to your loved ones?”
The family said the plaques were made specially by a loved one and would be worth far less to a thief than to them.
“I can’t see what it would be worth to them,” Teague said. “Those plaques are fairly thin so the total weight is pretty minimal.”
Copper thefts have increased right across the country, from spools of copper taken from construction sites to telephone lines and even powerboxes.
The Stony Plain/Spruce Grove RCMP are investigating the theft of the grave markers and said this is the first time their officers had heard of grave markers being targeted for copper.
Parkland County said it was investigating as well to see if any other cemeteries in the area have been affected.
The family is planning to replace the grave markers but adds they probably won’t be using copper again.
View photos of the grave markers in the gallery below: