Caught on Camera, Callous Woman Who Steals Flowers from Grave of a Little Boy

Article excerpt

Byline: Andy Dolan

FOR more than 30 years, the family of a young road accident victim regularly tended the potted plants at his grave.

But when they noticed some were disappearing, one relative decided to install a motionactivated camera.

Reviewing the images, Steve Rose was stunned to see an elderly woman arriving at the plot before appearing to put some of the terracotta pots and their contents into bags.

She already had some plants or flowers in the bags and other visitors to Rippleside Cemetery in Barking, East London, have said they, too, have noticed floral tributes going missing.

Mr Rose has released the images in the hope someone will recognise the woman.

'It's such a terrible thing to do, just shocking ,' said the 37-year-old taxi driver. 'It's the last place we can go to remember my cousin and someone's stealing from it. The plants don't have much value, just a couple quid each. If she wants them so much I'll give her the money. Just stop stealing from a child's grave.' The grave belongs to Robert Stringer, who was 11 when he was killed in Barking in 1980 after running out in front of a car. His mother Joan never got over the loss and visited his resting place at least once a week until her death two years ago at the age of 81.

Since then Mr Rose and another family member have looked after the grave.

He soon noticed plants were disappearing every couple of months.

Despite putting up a sign asking the culprit to stop, the thefts intensified to the point where they were happening every fortnight. …