Vandals strike at cemetery
A SHELTER used at the Bundaberg Cemetery to provide sanctuary during funeral services has been vandalised over the weekend in what police have labelled "a disgraceful act".
Des Allen who owns Des Allen Funerals said one of the struts that held up the canopy had been smashed up and the wheels had been buckled and twisted.
"I had an engineer out here this morning who said he couldn't see how the damage could have been done manually by hand," he said.
"A fair amount of force has been used to damage it.
"I think it's more than just someone swinging on it."
Mr Allen said the property damage occurred sometime between Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.
"We used it on Friday and it was fine,' he said.
Mr Allen said it was distressing to the community because cemeteries should be regarded as sacred ground.
"If people see that sort of damage in the cemetery it gives them an uneasy feeling," he said.
"It is naturally upsetting to families.
"Mainly I feel sorry that for people that visited their loved ones over the weekend may have left feeling anxious."
Mr Allen said it would cost about $3000 to repair the awning but that it would not affect upcoming funeral services.
"It is more of an inconvenience for us," he said.
"It offered people some protection and comfort during funeral services when it was hot or rainy."
Mr Allen said he was willing to offer a $1000 reward for any information that lead to a conviction.
"If they get away with it once they could get away with it again," he said.
Bundaberg Police Sergeant Mike McLellan said police would increase patrols in the region.
"We ask the public to call us if they noticed anything suspicious," he said.
"We want these people caught."
Sgt McLellan said social media may be one avenue the vandals could be caught.
"These people may have taken photos of themselves destroying the property and be bragging to someone else online," he said.
If you have information contact Bundaberg Police on 41539111 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.