The West Kelowna RCMP has recovered a large number of bronze plaques that had been reported stolen from cemeteries in the Central Okanagan.
Plaques were initially reported stolen from a West Kelowna graveyard on Sept. 16. RCMP were then notified of two more instances where bronze plaques were stolen overnight from cemeteries in Lake Country and Kelowna.
Currently, the RCMP believe the motive to be “purely for personal gain” as investigators believe these plaques were stolen for their material value.
Due to public outrage about the incident, the RCMP recieved a number of helpful tips that eventually led officers to the recovery of the metal plaques on Sept. 25.
Police said the officers found a large pile of the bronze plaques at the scene and it was evident that someone had removed the names from some of the plaques and cut them into small sqaures likely in preparation for them to be recycled and sold.
Most of the West Kelowna cemetery’s plaques were recovered and all of the plaques from Kelowna were recovered. The stolen plaques from Lake Country have not yet been found.
“Our investigation into these thefts continue and no arrests have been made at this time” said Cst. Lesley Smith of the Kelowna RCMP.
“RCMP have yet to identify any suspect(s) involved and therefore are asking anyone with information pertaining to these thefts to please contact the local RCMP at 250 762-3300.”
The plaques have all been returned to their rightful homes. Families are asked to contact the cemeteries involved to make further arrangements.
You can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leaving a tip online at crimestoppers.net.