Family warning after floral tributes are stolen from crematorium (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Family warning after floral tributes are stolen from crematorium
A BEREAVED family has warned people to watch out for thieves at a crematorium after floral tributes to their mother were stolen.
Family and friends of Ellen Mclaughlin, who died in February at the age of 80, brought a number of bouquets and floral displays to her funeral at Darlington Crematorium on March 7.
The flowers were left overnight, outside the main building for the family to pick up, but when they were collected the next morning Mrs McLaughlin’s daughter, Lesley McDonald, noticed two were missing.
The missing flowers were a four foot spray of red and white blooms, from Mrs McLaughlin’s husband, Terry, and a white heart design, surrounded by pink flowers.
Mrs McDonald said the family had been left devastated by the loss and wanted other people to be aware of the risk of tributes being stolen.
She added: “There were 33 sets of flowers for my mum but as soon as my niece brought them back I knew straight away there were two missing. They’ve taken the flowers that meant the most to my dad and he’s really been hit hard by this.
“I rang the police, just to let them know it had happened and they told me that people take them for weddings. It’s disgusting, she hadn’t even been gone 24 hours.”
A spokeswoman for Darlington Borough Council, which operates the crematorium, said: "The crematorium is open at all times for people to pay their respects.
“A large number of tributes are left on the floral terraces after cremations and we have very few reports of them being removed without permission from the family.
"It is always distressing when any theft occurs in these circumstances and we are keen to work with families and the police to stamp out what is one of the most insensitive forms of crime."