REWARD: Disgusted family wants cemetery vandals outed
DEVASTATED by the wreckage caused to their grandmother's grave after a shocking 'party' at the Warwick cemetery, a family are calling on culprits to be outed by the community and offering a reward for anyone who has information.
Michael Pohlman said his whole family were shocked and upset when they found expensive flowers had been stolen from his grandmother's grave when a 'party' reportedly took place at the Warwick cemetery last weekend.
Beer bottles and football tickets were found in surrounding rubbish bins.
Mr Pohlman said he was 'disgusted' to think people had consumed alcohol in a cemetery.
"My aunty said the actual cemetery still smells like alcohol," he said.
"That is just disgusting, at a cemetery it is absolutely disgusting."
Mr Pohlman said he would not let the issue slide after seeing the pain brought about by the the act of disrespect.
"What I want is to get a reward happening to find the people that did this," he said.
"I am looking for the community to come forward and pitch in to create a reward."
Mr Pohlman's grandmother's grave had been decorated with beautiful fresh flowers that cost around $60 for each bouquet, a tribute to Mr Pohlman's grandmother who passed away from bowel cancer at 65.
Nine years later, her grave still looks beautiful and well kept, but that all changed on the weekend.
"My aunty made the grave site look absolutely pretty with fresh flowers. She goes out there and re-does the whole thing," Mr Pohlman said.
"My nan's grave was outstanding... my aunty put a lot of effort in and spent a lot of money on flowers alone."
But all her care and hard work came undone over the weekend, when vandals stole, wrecked and redistributed flowers and ornaments from surrounding graves.
"It is very disrespectful for people to do this to our loved ones because they are resting, they don't want to be disturbed," Mr Pohlman said.
Notified of the damage over social media, residents rushed out to the cemetery on Sunday evening check on their loved ones.
Warwick mother Jenny Thornton was at the cemetery until dusk, cleaning up mess and retrieving objects that were stolen from the grave site of her husband Danny, who passed away in 2016.
"When we went out there we found people had taken all the flowers and ornaments off other people's graves," Mrs Thornton said.
"All Danny's pretty solar lights were broken and they had moved a pot of flowers and some rocks that we had put on his grave."
Mr Pohlman said he had contacted the Warwick Police who were aware of the issue but had not received any official complaints.
Senior Constable Jeremy Lambert said police would be increasing night patrols of the cemetery area.
Council staff inspected the damage on Monday morning.
Southern Downs Regional Council Cemeteries Team Leader, Mark McGowan said the council was taking the reports of vandalism very seriously.
"In the 20 years that I have been involved in the cemeteries, there have been very few reports of damage of vandalism. This is extremely unusual and out of character for our Southern Downs communities," he said.
But Mr Pohlman wants better surveillance of the cemetery and a fence to keep vandals out.
"I think they should install security cameras and a big fence that gets locked at 6pm."
Anyone with information about the culprits can contact the Warwick Police.
Donations for the reward and information about the incident can be made to Mr Pohlman by contacting him on 0432 717 947.