POLICE are trying to identify the grave robbers who stole jewellery from the grave of a man buried in a private cemetery in Altet. All that was left by robbers was a pair of sunglasses and a photograph. The deceased was buried at the cemetery in 2001, aged 29. On hearing about the desecration, a local resident said “it is one thing for them to rob your home, but an entirely different matter when it involves disturbing the dead.”
On Friday the cemetery gravedigger noticed the cover of the tombstone had been dislodged. Police have ruled out vandalism as the cause of the crime because the culprits had reportedly tried to cover up their actions.
Family of the deceased and cemetery management believe the robbery was carried out by a person or persons known by the victim, because “the criminals opened a tomb knowing what they would find”, said the cemetery treasurer, Vincente Lillo.
Footprints of human remains were found near the grave as the body had liquefied given a decade had passed since he was buried.
Once the coffin had been removed from the niche, thieves dismantled it and took what the victim’s brother believes to be missing, namely: a gold chain the deceased was wearing when he was buried, as well as a ring and a ‘Caravaca’ crucifix.
Maria Sanchez, the deceased’s aunt has called for the culprits to be identified and arrested, assuring that even if it was her own son, she would report him to the police.
She says she cannot understand how people can do such a thing and demands increased security at the cemetery – which is open 24 hours a day – to prevent the same happening again.
“There are many people who can only visit the cemetery at night and we are not going to deprive them of it,” said Lillo.
By John Jackson