Thieves have stolen flowers and vases left at a Walsall cemetery – sparking a warning for people to be on their guard.
Two flower baskets and a vase have been taken from Streetly Cemetery, leaving family members in shock.
Council chiefs today said staff would monitor the issue and urged anyone who sees anything suspicious to alert police.
The family concerned, who did not want to be named, said the theft had been very upsetting.
It is believed the items, which have been on a grave for around 12 months and are replenished on a regular basis, were taken some time between 4pm and 5pm on March 6.
One family member, who did not wish to have their name used, said: “You don’t expect things to be stolen from a grave.
“We know they are only material things but it’s not about the cost.
“We just like to keep the grave looking nice and so when things like this happen, it’s very upsetting.”
The family said the grounds staff at the cemetery do a great job but could not be there 24 hours a day.
“We spoke to other people at the cemetery who said they had also had things taken from the grave,” she added.
Walsall has 125 acres of burialgrounds, which are open to the public for 365 days a year during most daylight hours.
Leisure chief Councillor Anthony Harris said: “Families are advised not to leave valuable items on graves and visitors who report suspected thefts are encouraged to inform the police locally.
“Any suspicious activity should also be reported. The issue is being monitored as council staff continue to be vigilant during their normal working hours and part-time patrol officers are watching at locking-up time and at weekends.”
He said there are some CCTV cameras covering the area around the Crematorium building at Streetly Cemetery, in Little Hardwick Road, Streetly.
But there are no cameras in the cemetery grounds.
Walsall has seven other operational cemeteries.
They are in Bloxwich, Bentley, James Bridge in Darlaston, North Walsall, Ryecroft, Willenhall and Wood Street in Willenhall.
A number of other cemeteries in the region have also been targeted by thieves.
In February 2012 a vase bought by a teenage boy to honour his late uncle was stolen from Cannock Cemetery in Pye Green Road.
Bushbury Crematorium in Wolverhampton has also been targeted by thieves in recent years.
Ornamental memorials left by families on the graves of their loved ones have been taken, including two stone Bibles in September 2011.
In the same year a bench at Wood Green Cemetery in Wednesbury was stolen from the open site.
And thieves made off with a range of graveside ornaments and a marble stone vase worth £200 from Quinton Cemetery between Sandwell and Dudley in June 2011.