Statement attributable to Inspector Grant Tetzlaff, Area Commander for Auckland City West:
Police have made two arrests following the theft of a considerable number of memorial plaques from an Epsom cemetery last weekend.
This incident was incredibly disrespectful towards the families of those buried and Police have no tolerance for this sort of act whatsoever.
Early indications to Police were that 75 memorial plaques had been stolen from the cemetery at St Andrews Church, but following Police enquiries we now believe that more than 80 had been stolen.
Police investigating this incident have completed a number of enquires and have recovered nearly all of the plaques that were stolen.
Unfortunately, a majority of the plaques have been defaced or damaged and are not in a condition to be remounted at the gravesite.
On Thursday night, the Auckland City West Tactical Crime Unit executed a search warrant at a Mt Roskill address and located two individuals at the property.
Police also located a vehicle of interest at the address which has been seized.
A 34-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man have been charged over the incident and both are due to appear in the Auckland District Court today.
I would like to acknowledge the work by our Tactical Crime Unit to quickly bring about a result in this matter.
While some of the plaques have been damaged, we hope this brings some reassurance to the families impacted by this theft in that the alleged offenders have been held to account.