Burglars stole late husband’s ashes three weeks after he died

Burglars have left a widow distraught after they stole the ashes of her husband, who had died just three weeks before.

Police are appealing for information following the burglary on the afternoon of Monday, 9 April in Dovedale Road, in East Dulwich.

The homeowner, aged in her 80s, returned home at around 4.50pm and reported seeing two men running up the road and away from her house.

She entered her house and discovered the ashes were missing, along with other valuable items. These included a platinum ring with a large pearl and diamonds, a silver coin collection, a black sports watch, a cheque book and an ASUS laptop.

The victim and her husband had been married for 56 years before his death in February. He had been cremated less than three weeks before the break-in.

The ashes were contained in a burgundy cardboard box with golden rope handles and a white label on the front. This box is slightly bigger than a shoe box. This box was then placed in a burgundy thick paper bag.

PC Tom Stoodley, from Southwark, said: “This burglary has left the victim extremely upset – not only because of the intrusion, but because her recently deceased husband’s ashes were taken. It is beyond comprehension how someone could be so callous and heartless as to steal someone’s cremated remains. We are determined to find the people responsible, and recover these ashes for our grieving victim.”

The men were described as being of medium build and with short hair, and both were carrying dark-coloured bags in both of their hands. One of the men had a navy blue anorak and the other was wearing a dark coloured coat. They were headed towards Mundania Road.

If you have any information about this burglary or you remember seeing anything suspicious in the Dovedale Road area before and after the burglary, call 101 quoting CAD 5303/09APR. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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