Heartless thieves have struck at a second city cemetery, stealing dozens of memorial plaques.

They broke into Bilston Cemetery overnight on Wednesday (3 August, 2022) and stole more than 30 bronze plaques, each measuring 24 inches by 18 inches.

Police are warning scrap metal dealers not to accept any items that are likely to be a result of this theft, or a similar incident last month when over 50 bronze plaques were stolen from graves at Merridale Cemetery.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to please contact police via livechat or call 101 and quote crime reference number 20/698472/22 for the Bilston Cemetery theft or crime reference number 20/639096/22 for the Merridale Cemetery theft.

Councillor Steve Evans, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Environment and Climate Change, said: "This is another absolutely deplorable act which we again condemn in the strongest possible terms.

"We are working closely with police and are determined to do all we can to help track down the culprits. We are reviewing security measures at all our cemeteries and are also taking the additional precaution of closing certain sites earlier in the evening for a temporary period.

"I would ask anyone who has any information which may help apprehend the individuals responsible for either incident to contact police via livechat or by calling 101 as soon as possible."

Chief Superintendent Richard Fisher, of Wolverhampton Police, said: "We recognise the devastating effects crimes such as these have on grieving family members.

"We are making enquiries to seek to identify the culprits and ask for all our metal recycling and scrap merchants to help us by not accepting any items they are likely to be part of this theft and call us should anyone attend trying to dispose of them. We will be passing the message during visits to our local dealers.

“We ask for the vigilance of our communities and any information to bring the culprits to justice.”