30. 10. 12. - 16:22
Copper thieves target cemeteries
Austrian police are warning of a spate of thefts of copper ornaments from graveyards after the price of scrap copper rose rapidly in recent months.
In Gänserndorf the thieves have targeted vases and lanterns at several cemeteries leading to 50 registered complaints from people who have had their graves desecrated.
Victim Alfred Müllner said: "The copper lanterns have probably been melted down, they are mostly antiques that at the time cost a lot of money."
His family grave was desecrated when 1.5 metre copper lanterns were removed by the thieves.
But it is not just the graveyard at Engelhartstetten but also in the area including Loimersdorf, Stopfenreuth and Marchegg where various vases and grave lights made out of copper have been stolen.
Police spokesman Gerhard Jost said: "It really is a mini crime wave and we've never seen anything like it before.
"The problem is that cemeteries are relatively well hidden and the copper price at the moment is between 4 and 6 euros a kilo. If you add it all up you can get a good price for some of this stuff."
He added that at the moment there was no indication as to who the thieves were.