GRAVE-ROBBERS stole ornaments and toys from a shrine to an unborn baby in Egton graveyard last week, leaving family members “devastated and disturbed”.
Police were alerted on Wednesday 27 June after it was discovered that beloved items left for the infant, who died three years ago, had been stolen.
Grandparent Philippa Fletcher said: “A grave is sacred, it disturbs me that someone could do something like that.
“It makes you sick to the bottom of your stomach because you don’t understand why anybody could be so heartless and cruel.”
The plot also includes the grave of Mrs Fletcher’s father, William Hewitt, who passed away 11 years ago aged 74, and tributes to him have also been taken, leaving his 90-year-old widow and family devastated.
Mrs Fletcher said that a single ornament had been left untouched: “There were five love heart stones, and someone stole all the items except for one heart that says ‘my beautiful baby’.
“It’s very sad that someone is targeting graves but the thing is there are other graves nearby with ornaments that are untouched. We are desperate to find out who did this.”
Broken ornaments, including a damaged porcelain teddy bear, were later found in a nearby field and returned to the grave plot by the landowner.
A spokesman for North Yorkshire police said: “This is an utterly vile and despicable theft. Those responsible should be deeply ashamed of themselves.
“It is impossible to understand the motivation behind such a callous act.
“If you have any information about the people who carried out this most hurtful of offences please contact Whitby police immediately. on 0845 6060247.
“If you would prefer to speak to someone anonymously please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”