Several memorial plaques have been stolen from benches at Mill Lake Park.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said a citizen first noticed that about five plaques were missing on New Year’s Day and reported the theft to police this week.
The brass plaques are purchased through the City of Abbotsford by individuals and families in memory of loved ones.
MacDonald said it’s more likely that the thefts were an act of vandalism or mischief than a means of obtaining quick cash.
“It’s pretty deplorable that people are doing that,” he said.
MacDonald advised anyone who sees suspicious behaviour in the park – or elsewhere – to phone the APD at 604-859-5225 or text abbypd (222973).
The plaques can be purchased through the city’s Parks Gift Program, which enables citizens, community groups and businesses to donate gifts to the city for the enhancement of public parks and recreation facilities.
These gifts include benches at a cost of almost $3,000, picnic tables for $2,600 and trees for $1,200.
Donations of more than $1,000 receive a bronze plaque inscribed with a message. The plaques on their own can be purchased for $260.
City communications director Katherine Treloar said when there is a theft, the city will replace the plaque without charge one time only.
She said the donated benches, plaques and trees are located across the city’s 157 parks, with about 75 benches in Mill Lake Park alone.