“HE’S not here anymore, why steal from him?”
Grieving mother Leeanne Thurn cannot understand why anyone would take flowers and keepsakes from her son’s grave.
She has joined the push to have CCTV cameras installed at Orange cemetery to catch those responsible.
“I just can’t understand how anyone could be so gutless,” Miss Thurn said.
She said she and Tegan Mitchell, who spoke to the Central Western Daily last week about graveside thefts, would work together to push for greater security at the cemetery.
“I think CCTV cameras would be good, but I don’t think [Orange] council will do it,” she said.
While she understands council’s wish to preserve people’s privacy when they grieve, Miss Thurn says the crime has to stop.
“It’s a place for mourning and when you go there you grieve but when you go there and see stuff missing, you grieve even more,” she said.
Miss Thurn said there were a growing number of people in Orange concerned about graveside thefts who were planning to launch a petition to install CCTV cameras at the site.
“I spoke to another lady who goes up there all the time and she’s had two lots of flowers taken in the past two weeks,” she said.
“The flowers I put up there are not cheap, they know what they’re taking.”
Miss Thurn said she had spoken to staff at the cemetery about the ongoing thefts.
“I think they’re getting sick of seeing my face, but they’re quite sympathetic and they say they keep an eye out,” she said.
Miss Thurn said many people were afraid to complain publicly about the thefts for fear they would be targeted.
“They worry that if they complain then the headstones will be [targeted] next,” she said.
“They’ve got no morals to steal from someone who is not here anymore, so they wouldn’t worry about wrecking a headstone.”