One of the original plaques at the corner of Kerr Rd noting the origin for the street name for the VC winner (Greisbach Community League)

Man charged for theft of memorial plaques

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It has become a plaque in recent years. Many memorial plaques and ornaments of brass, bronze, and copper are being regularly stolen and sold for scrap.

As the value for these metals has increased, so too has the theft. People are outraged and disgusted at thefts of these historic plaques from cenotaphs, buildings, and cemeteries.

One of the plaques on its base at the end of Kerr Rd in happier times. (Google streetview)

Unfortunately the individuals who steal the items and the scrap dealers who too often ask no questions, are seldom caught.

Caught, charged, but plaques beyond repair.

In Edmonton Alberta, justice has been served on a 46-year-old man in connection with the theft of 16 memorial plaques, later found to be 18 plaques.

One of the damaged plaques. Of 18 found, !5 of the commemorative plaques had identifying features ground off and 15 were beyond repair. (Edmonton Police Services-via CBC)

The military plaques were placed on small cement and brick bases at street corners around the Edmonton neighbourhood of Greisbach which had previously been the site of a military garrison.

The plaques had information about the streets and local landmarks which are named after Victoria Cross winners, famous regiments, major battles, and other heroic veterans and military nurses.

The 18 plaques were recovered after a scrap dealer heard stories on the news about the stolen plaques are reported that he had bought 16 of them for $525.  Two remaining plaques were found in an alley in the Griesbach neighbourhood.

Local surveillance video captured images of two men prying the plaques from their bases in July 2017, but the men could not be identified. A local scrap dealer later helped to identify the man who sold the damaged plaques to him. (Greisbach Community League)

The lawyer for Romero Woolf, who was sentenced to 8 months in prison, said the man didn’t know the origin of the plaques and didn’t know they were stolen.

He has a previous record of  several property offences including possession of stolen property.

In sentencing the judge noted that the theft was very aggravating and had greatly upset the community.

The original supplier of the plaques still had the moulds which has lessened the cost of replacement. The city, local Griesbach community and other donations of $27,000 have enabled the replacement of 14 of the plaques.

Sources-additional information

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