Raided funeral firm to tighten up its security

DISGUSTED Martin Ripley, business manager at AG Stapleford & Sons Funeral Directors
DISGUSTED Martin Ripley, business manager at AG Stapleford & Sons Funeral Directors
Victoria Road, Emsworth. Credit: Google Maps/Street View

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THE manager of a funeral parlour where the jewellery of dead people was stolen has said he may put up bars on the windows to enforce security.

Martin Ripley said the thieves who broke into A G Stapleford and Sons Funeral Directors in Powerscourt Road, Buckland, Portsmouth were the ‘lowest of the low’.

The burglars smashed a rear window, before running off with a safe containing cash and the jewellery of people whose funerals happened a few weeks ago.

In a bid to make sure it cannot happen again, the company is thinking about putting bars on all of its windows.

Mr Ripley said: ‘I think it’s disgusting that they (offenders) would break into a funeral director’s.

‘They are the lowest of the low.

‘You can’t really put a value on any of it – it’s sentimental.

‘It’s the same as taking money from a charity collection box.

‘We do have a security plan in place, which includes having a certain number of bars on the smaller windows.

‘We may have to think about putting them on to other windows.

‘But who wants to work in a place with bars on the windows?’

The burglary took place between 6pm on Friday, February 18 and 12.30pm on Saturday, February 19.

‘We don’t like keeping anything on the premises,’ added Mr Ripley. ‘The jewellery taken had been here for a considerable amount of time, and is not related to any families we are currently dealing with.

‘We are Portsmouth’s oldest funeral directors and we have an extremely good reputation.

‘We want to do everything in our power to make sure this doesn’t happen again.’

Hampshire Police has called the crime ‘despicable’ and is urging anyone who saw a beige-coloured safe, about the size of two shoeboxes, being transported around the time of the crime, to come forward.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC Paul Bongiovanni at Cosham Police Station on 101.

Alternatively you can call 0845 045 45 45.

Or call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.