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North Earlham woman found 'stolen' toys on her mother's grave at Norwich's Earlham cemetery

PUBLISHED: 15:40 16 January 2012

Zoe Woods with the toys, stolen from another grave, she found dumped on her mother's grave in Earlham Cemetary.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Zoe Woods with the toys, stolen from another grave, she found dumped on her mother's grave in Earlham Cemetary. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk Copyright

Two toys which were thought to have been stolen from the children's section of Norwich's Earlham Cemetery as part of a series of "wicked and cruel" thefts have been found.

The Evening News had already reported how two holly wreaths were stolen from graves on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, when it emerged that toys were snatched from a child’s grave shortly afterwards.

A Postman Pat van and a Lightning McQueen car were taken from the children’s section of the cemetery between 9am on Boxing Day and 9am on Friday, December 30.

But following an appeal over the thefts, which were condemned by Norfolk police, the toys have been discovered by a woman who found them on her mother’s grave at the cemetery.

Zoe Woods, 28, from Foxley Close, off Cadge Road, North Earlham, was at the cemetery on Boxing Day visiting the grave of her mother, Pamela Dew, who died in August 2004 aged just 55.

Mrs Woods, a mother-of-three who is married to Jason, said they got to her headstone and noticed the toy car and the van on her mother’s plot.

She said: “They were on her headstone. I looked at them and thought they’ve come off the children’s part and said to my husband what should I do. He said all we could do was leave them there as we didn’t know whose they were.”

Mrs Woods, who had not been back to her mother’s grave since Boxing Day, then contacted the Evening News after reading the appeal in the paper and on returning to the grave on Friday discovered the items were still there.

She said: “I’m really pleased that I’ve found them and that they were still there. It’s lovely to be able to find out who’s lost them. At the end of the day it’s for their child’s grave and you don’t expect someone to go down and remove these things - there’s no other way they could’ve made it to my mum’s grave.

“I’m very pleased that we’ve found them and were able to help the family out.”

A spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary said: “We are grateful to the lady for being thoughtful enough to hand such precious items in so we can return them back to the family.”

As previously reported another wreath was also taken from the cemetery between 11am on Friday, December 23 and 11am on Tuesday, December 27.

Anyone with knowledge of the thefts or anyone who has seen people acting suspiciously in the cemetery should call PC Simon Gooch at Earlham Police Station on 101.

Have you got a crime story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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