GRAVE tributes and mementoes are being stolen and sold on at boot sales, it is claimed.

Distraught families are visiting graves and finding people have swiped memorial fountains and other items from Basildon and District Crematorium, Church Road, Bowers Gifford.

One teary woman, who buried her mother at the site said the family saved up £80 for the fountain, and found it has gone.

She said: “We visited the site on Bank Holiday Monday and it was taken that day.

“We just cannot believe it, my father was so upset when we found out about the incident.

“My mum always had fairies in her garden so my dad said she would love the fountain, it had a fairy dipping her feet in the bowl of water.

“It was solar powered and had lights on it.

“We have also seen that another grave, near my mums, had a fountain taken and we know the family.

“We called them to inform then and they were just as angry as we are.

“My dad was just in tears and I have been crying about it as well.

“We only lost mum last December.

“The whole family say it’s low life scumbags.

“I think this is drug addicts scouring the site for items to sell to get their next fix.

“I’ve been speaking with other people affected and we think items are being stolen and sold at boot sales since Christmas.”

The daughter said her fountain is described as made of resin in a grey stone-type colour.

She added: “When I found out I felt sick about it.

“I was unsure if we were not allowed these, but don’t think that’s the case.

“I want to make people aware of this and also help stop other families going through this - as it is so awful.

“Anyone with information should tell the main site office.”

The crematorium was contacted for comment on the thefts but did not respond to requests from the Echo.