More than $67,000 in bronze vases have been stolen from Mississauga cemeteries, and Peel police are seeking the public's help in finding them, and those responsible for the alleged thefts.
According to police, the vases were taken from Mount Peace Cemetery, St. Mary's Cemetery and Assumption Cemetery between Apr. 7 and Sept. 24 of this year.
"Someone's decided that this is a way to increase their finances, we'll say, and selling this off to possibly scrap metal yards," Peel police Const. Danny Marttini told CBC Toronto.
Police started getting calls about the alleged thefts from the cemeteries, and not individual families, she said. The vases are placed at individual plots, she said.
"It's traumatic," she said. "Losing anybody is hard and then you go to visit at the cemetery and to see that now something's happened there, it would be very upsetting."
Investigators are asking witnesses or anyone who may have surveillance footage to come forward. Police do have some footage to review from some of the cemeteries, according to Marttini, but no suspects have been identified yet.
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Peel regional police are continuing to investigate a rash of thefts at three Mississauga cemeteries between April 7 and Sept. 24.
Within that time frame, police say 269 bronze and metal vases have been reported stolen from Mount Peace Cemetery (3204 Cawthra Rd.), St. Mary’s Cemetery (2098 Dickson Rd.) and Assumption Cemetery (6933 Tomken Rd.). The value of these vases is approximately $67,250. Police believe these stolen urns are being sold to scrap metal companies.
Between June and September, 150 vases were stolen from St. Marys while 87 were stolen from Assumption from Sept. 22 to 24 and 32 were taken from Mount Peace between April 7 and 13. All of these cemeteries are run by Assumption Catholic Cemetery, part of Catholic Cemeteries & Funeral Services — Archdiocese of Toronto.
Investigators with the 12 Division criminal investigation bureau are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with video footage of these incidents.
Anyone with information can contact investigators at 905-453-2121, ext. 1233. Information can also be left anonymously with Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.