A renewed appeal for information has been made after part of a medieval burial stone was stolen in Herefordshire as thieves targeting church monuments seem to have become active again.
There was a spate of such break-ins during
2012, hitting churches in the Marches area, such as
Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire, Wales, but for
most of last year there were none, although areas elsewhere in the
UK have been affected.
Around November, however, the top half of
the effigy was taken from St Mary's Church, Foy, Ross-on-Wye,
Herefordshire. The series of thefts actually began in January 2012
when the bottom half of the same burial stone was stolen.
Sally Badham, who was president of the
Church Monuments Society from 2008-13, said: "Most of the monuments
taken have been connected with heart burials, a specific type of
monument. It doesn't sound like an opportunist theft. I may be
wrong but they could have been stolen to order for a collector who
is interested in church monuments."
The coffin-shaped slab is 3ft 6in (1.1m) in length and shows an
unknown female figure in low relief. West Mercia Police said anyone
with information on the Foy theft should call 101 or the anonymous
Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.