Thieves who broke in to Te Awamutu Cemetery in the early hours of Sunday morning have left behind a costly clean-up bill for Waipā District Council.
Council says the thieves stole $3,000 worth of tools and caused $4,000 worth of damage to the cemetery sexton’s shed.
Council community services manager, Brad Ward said staff were alerted to the break-in on Sunday morning, leading staff to close road access to the cemetery while an inspection was carried out.
“We have reopened the road to vehicle access because we have managed to secure the steel gates and can report no graves were damaged. Unfortunately, the roller door on the sexton shed will need to be replaced,” he said.
“This incident is extremely disappointing. Our cemeteries are sacred places that are valued by our community and the tools stolen are vital to ensuring it is well maintained.”
Staff are working with police to review CCTV footage. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact police.