A MUM has said she is too scared to visit her daughter’s grave alone after she caught strange men watching her at the cemetery.
Linda Farren’s 30-year-old daughter Julie is buried in Durrington Cemetery, in Findon Road, after she lost her fight against breast cancer 10 years ago.
Over the years Linda and her family have regularly gone to Julie’s grave and left gifts, ranging from ornaments and flowers to items collected from holidays abroad.
However, in recent years not only have gifts been stolen off the grave but on a couple of occasions Linda has noticed strange men lurking in the graveyard.
Linda, 62, of Downview Road, Ferring, said: “I can’t go there on my own as I have had two incidents when I have been watched by a man – it has unnerved me so much.
“It comes to something when you can’t even go to your daughter’s grave to put flowers on it.”
Last year, the Herald reported how thieves had stolen a bird bath which was attached to her daughter’s grave.
At the time she thought the large bird bath was worth £900 but it actually cost the family £2,165 to replace.
Linda said: “We have had quite a few things taken including rabbits, squirrels, doves, angels, butterflies which were solar powered, and a dome I got from Venice, Italy.
“Every time when I go I wonder if things are still going to be there.”
Linda believes the thieves may be the same people each time and wants to raise awareness among those who have loved ones buried at the cemetery.
She said: “I want the police to look again but I know guards can’t be up there 24-7.
“I think it is the same person who goes back every so often and steals again.”
Her comments follows Deborah Dann’s story last month who spoke of her anger and sadness after vandals stole lights from her father’s grave in the same cemetery.
This week, Offington PCSO Shauna Bowen confirmed she was making extra patrols at the cemetery to deter would-be thieves.
Worthing Council has said it does have a number of maintenance workers monitoring the site but because of its size it was difficult to stop all theft.
In August, 2009, the cemetery opening hours were reduced in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour at the site.
Council spokesman Wendy Knight said: “It is difficult to know what else we can do. Obviously, we have sympathy with everybody who has items taken from the graves of their loved ones.”