Police have asked people to be on the lookout for suspects who have violated a grave – and to be aware that granite kitchen countertops sold from unaccredited sellers may have come from a Free State graveyard.
A family from Odendaalsrus was shocked to find their loved one’s grave had been tampered with when they went to pay their respects on January 1.
Mahlomola Paulus Hantsi’s final resting place was left without a granite top, which covered the length of the grave. The robbers had left only the headstone intact.
The family had last visited the grave on September 15 and said it was undamaged, leading them to believe the robbery was recent.
The total cost of the granite stolen was R8,000.
The police’s Captain Stephen Thakeng said a warning to the public that grave violation suspects were on the loose was an SAPS strategy to try to prevent further graves from being robbed.
Thakeng said he couldn’t speculate whether other graves had been robbed because only one family had reported an incident.
He warned that community members needed to be on the lookout for people selling granite kitchen countertops because he believed this was the intention of the theft.
“We are advising our communities to ensure they buy their granite kitchen countertops from accredited sellers,” said Thakeng.
SAPS have urged those who may know the suspects to contact the investigating officer, Constable Ntsiki Madyongolo, of the Odendaalsrus Detective Services at 057 916 2400 during office hours.