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Darwen volunteers lose tools in 'disgraceful' cemetery theft
A VOLUNTEER group gave up their Saturday morning lie-in to carry out essential maintenance in Darwen Cemetery, only to find that their gardening tools and lawn mowers had been stolen.
Friends of Darwen Cemetery’s ‘Working Party’ meet every fortnight to keep the cemetery clean, tidy and in good condition.
John East, chairman of Friends of Darwen Cemetery said: “We arrived as usual and saw that our lock-up had been broken into and our mowers and strimmers gone.
“Whoever did it had used bolt cutters and had obviously come prepared. There were smaller tools in the lock-up, such as trowels, but they remained untouched. It was very disappointing for us all.
“We are a community group and the work that we do is to benefit everyone and it’s such a shame that some people don’t see it that way.”
A police spokeswoman said: “Between 2.15pm on Thursday, October 17 and 9.30am on Saturday, October 19, offenders approached the secure, un- attended shipping container in the grounds of the cemetery and forced a heavy duty padlock with bolt croppers or similar to removed property and then made off undetected.”
The stolen equipment was a petrol driven commercial strimmer, worth £375, a grass strimmer worth £100, a lawn mower worth £300 and a wheelbarrow worth worth £60 meaning a total value of £835. The tools and equipment that they use to do this have all been either donated or paid for by fundraising events organised by the group. Executive member for environment Councillor Jim Smith said “I am deeply saddened to hear that Darwen Cemetery has been broken into. This theft is disgraceful.
“The police have been informed and I hope they are brought to justice quickly. We are working with the Friends of Darwen Cemetery group to potentially find them new a new container for their remaining tools.
“We can loan the friends group some of our equipment, but I stress this will not be kept on the site.”
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