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Family distraught after latest grave thefts
12:10pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
A SIGNED photograph left by a little girl on her dead mother’s grave has been stolen.
Three-year-old Abi-Evelyn Cronin was so pleased to learn how to write her name she signed a picture of the two of them together and asked “can I take this to mummy?”
So father Robert, of Fairfax Road, put the photo in a frame and went with her to the nearby Colchester Cemetery and Crematorium, in Mersea Road.
It was placed on the grave of mum and wife Katie, who died in 2011 aged 21 from heart problems, but by Monday it had gone.
Mr Cronin said: “I want people to know what is happening there.
“It is supposed to be a safe place and somewhere for us to be at home with her.
“She wanted to give something to her mum and now someone has taken it.
“How do I explain that to her?”
Mr Cronin stopped putting items on the grave after previous thefts - although many of the items were recovered after a father discovered his teenage daughter was responsible and informed the police.
But he didn’t want to say no and hoped nobody would take something which was worthless to anyone else but priceless to his daughter.
He said: “What a cruel act this is and so disrespectful.
“We just want the picture back.
“It is in a pink photo frame which is quite heavy and i put stones around it so the wind wouldn't blow it away.”
He has informed the police who are also investigating thefts from other graves including two other pictures and frames at the cemetery during the weekend.
Only last week the Gazette reported a series of thefts from the grave of Marion Gaskell throughout the course of the year.
Her mother, Martha Hulme, even resorted to putting a sign next to the grave begging people to stop stealing from it.
Mr Cronin, 27, added: “It has not been easy since she died and I am coping the best I can.
“I have chest problems and am having tests but they don’t know what is wrong and the grave is somewhere to get away.
“Abi asks where mummy is and I try to explain she is up in the sky but next time I take her I am going to have to try and explain someone has taken the picture.”
Anyone with information about the theft call Colchester police station on 101.
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