Source: New Zealand Police – Police investigation into vandalised graveyard continues
A Police investigation into the vandalism of Papakura Cemetery has continued today. Police are working to identify a man seen on CCTV damaging a number of graves on Saturday night, 16 May.
“This man is seen on CCTV displaying some strange behaviour while he damaged the graves,” says Inspector Mark Rowbottom of Papakura Police. “We believe he worked alone and spent a number of hours in the cemetery.”
CCTV has identified a man who walked through the cemetery at around 6:30pm. Police believe this person may have valuable information that can assist the investigation.
“This person walks through a walkway in the cemetery and is walking with what may be a cellphone shining in his hand. It is possible that he saw someone else in the graveyard around this time and we would like to speak to him about what he may have seen.”
About half an hour later, at around 7pm, a person is seen on CCTV walking through the graveyard and tampering with graves.
This man has been described by a witness as a male Maori or Polynesian about 5”8 in height and of chubby build. He was wearing a green hooded jacket, black baggy pants and work boots.
It is also possible he had a spade with him at some point.
Police ask anyone who may know who this is to come forward to assist the investigation.
“The person responsible for this is likely to have returned home on Saturday evening covered in dirt. Anyone who has suspicions about someone they know who may have been involved in this incident is asked to contact Police as soon as possible.
“We are working closely with Auckland Council and families to try and resolve this crime quickly and get the best result for the families who have been affected.”
Police have increased patrols around and within the Papakura Cemetery.
Anyone with information should call Counties Manukau Police on 09 261 1300 or information can be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.