Police want scrap dealers to keep their eyes peeled after bronze plaques were stolen from graves in an Auckland cemetery.

The thefts, from the Purewa Cemetery in Meadowbank, were reported around 4.15pm on Saturday.

The plaques are thought to have been taken overnight on Friday or on Saturday morning, Auckland Police senior sergeant Ashley Gore said.

"At least 20 bronze plaques have been stolen."

Advertisement

Police were at the cemetery looking for clues yesterday and are following "lines of inquiry", Gore said. The cemetery is working to notify family members.

He wants anyone who has seen anything suspicious or who has seen the plaques to contact police. Scrap metal dealers should be particularly vigilant, he said.

A bronze plaque complete with inscription can cost close to $1000 but they are only worth a few dollars as scrap metal.

This is not the first time bronze plaques have been stolen from Purewa Cemetery.

Thieves ripped around 400 bronze plaques from the Purewa Cemetery memorial wall in 2007. Photo/Paul Estcourt
Thieves ripped around 400 bronze plaques from the Purewa Cemetery memorial wall in 2007. Photo/Paul Estcourt

In 2007, thieves ripped around 400 plaques from the cemetery's memorial wall - a haul that cost about $300,000 to replace.

Information can be shared anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.