Anguish for Jacob Jenkins' parents over '˜despicable' thefts from grave
The family of Hartlepool toddler Jacob Jenkins who died after choking on a grape are calling on council chiefs to step up security at a cemetery after numerous items have disappeared from his grave.
Jacob’s dad David Jenkins says a total of 13 items have been stolen since laying his son to rest in Stranton Cemetery six months ago.
They include a dozen small lights and last week Jacob’s teddy was taken.
The thefts have caused more anguish to Jacob’s parents David and Abigail Wilson after their devastating loss last October.
David, 31, said: “We feel like he is being targeted, it’s not nice.”
He is calling on Hartlepool Borough Council to install more CCTV cameras to protect plots and catch whoever is taking the items.
An online petition has been created to boost support and David has gone to the lengths of installing his own hidden camera to protect Jacob’s plot.
He said: “I have been on to the council about putting cameras up but they say the area is too big.
“I have also read on Facebook that other people are having lights stolen off people’s resting places.
“I think if the council can pay £40,000 to get some daft building demolished why can’t they put a few cameras up?”
Two-year-old Jacob tragically died after choking while eating a grape at Pizza Hut at Hartlepool Marina.
His death touched the whole town and well-wishers raised £20,000 for his family, came together for a balloon release and hundreds lined the street for his funeral.
Six solar lights went missing from his plot around two months ago and another six disappeared last week along with his meerkat teddy which cannot be replaced.
David, an asbestos worker, added: “Abigail is distraught. She doesn’t like the idea of him being in the dark so as soon as the lights go we have to replace them.”
A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: “Theft from a grave is a despicable act and we can fully understand the family’s frustration.
“We do have CCTV within the cemetery but it is a very large site. Council staff working at the cemetery are asked to be vigilant at all times and we would also appeal to visitors to report any theft or suspicious behaviour to us.”
The family’s petition for more CCTV cameras can be found at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/cameras-put-up-around-stranton-cemetery.html