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Theft of cemetery gates near Crieff linked to Perthshire crime wave

The stolen gates at Strowan Woodland Cemetery
The stolen gates at Strowan Woodland Cemetery

Police are linking the theft of gates from a cemetery near Crieff to a number of other high value thefts in the area.

Thieves stole the wrought iron gates from Strowan Woodland Cemetery sometime between 8pm Friday and 7am the following day.

Following the discovery of the missing gates a local funeral director launched an appeal for information that would lead to their return.

Police have launched their own investigation into the theft and are linking it to similar raids across Perthshire.

John Gauld, of Gauld’s Funeral Directors, believes they will cost more than £1,000 to replace and has asked anyone being offered gates for sale to report it to police.

Space where stolen gates at Strowan Woodland Cemetery used to stand

John said: “Someone has come along in the night and stole the main gates off the cemetery.

“They can’t just be lifted off, they must have come tooled up with a grinder.

“And they would need a pick up or some kind of van.

“We want to get the gates back.”

John also put out a Facebook appeal for the return of the gates, writing: “If anyone has any information, or is offered these stolen gates for sale, please call Police Scotland on 101.

“Thank you.”

A police spokesperson confirmed they are investigating the theft.

They added they are hunting a repeat offendeer “due to similar offences involving gates which may be of high value in and around the area.”

Gauld’s Funeral Service has now put out a £100 reward for information which leads directly to the return of the stolen cemetery gates.

John also believes the robbery is related to gates that were stolen in Auchterarder.

He said: “A member of the public has come forward and stated that they saw a pickup type vehicle at the cemetery entrance around 7pm on Friday March 8.

“The police are aware of this and are linking it to gates also stolen in Auchterarder.”

The theft  was met with shock and anger online and widely criticised, including by people who have loved ones buried in the cemetery.

Wendy Innes wrote: “Despicable… This is where my mum is buried.”

Sheena Carmichael added: “Scandalous,who could stoop so low.”

Fiona d’Arcy-Kincaid said: “What is wrong with people. Absolutely no morals, or indeed, bereft of any kind of respect for anyone or anything.”

Elaine Scott wrote: “Sad day when the can’t let the dead rest.”

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