POLICE are asking scrap metal dealers to report anyone trying to sell part of a headstone stolen from a cemetery.
Officers are stepping up efforts to find the thief responsible for ruining the grave of a Sunderland man.
Earlier this week, the Echo revealed how Sheila and Alan Frost were left distraught after discovering grave robbers had struck at the family plot.
Sheila, 75, was visiting the graveside on the third anniversary of son David’s death when she found part of his headstone – showing a couple crossing a bridge – had been stolen.
Now the shop that supplied the headstone to the family have released a picture of the bronze sculpture stolen from on top of the grave.
Bosses Scott Memorials in Seaham say they were left “disgusted” when they heard about what had happened.
Angela Pederson, from the store, said: “When we read about it, we couldn’t believe it. We hope that someone out there might recognise the section from the headstone and call the police.” Sheila and Alan, 75, had deliberately picked that particular memorial because they wanted the statue to represent the couple one day meeting their son again.
As a baby, David contracted meningitis when he was seven months old. The condition left him mentally and physically disabled. He died on June 14, 2010, aged 50.
Sheila, of Roker, said: “I don’t understand why anyone would have done this. It’s left us devastated.”
Insp Jamie Southwell, from Northumbria Police, said: “We’ve had officers checking local scrap dealers to see if the statue had been sold on. I’d appeal for anyone who knows where it is, or who knows who is responsible for this crime, to contact police with information as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information into the theft is asked to contact officers on 101 ext 69191.