Cemeteries are usually a place to say goodbyes and pay respects, but grieving families aren’t the only ones visiting Surrey’s Victory Memorial Park.

Metal thieves have stolen around 60 bronze flower vases from the cemetery in recent weeks, leaving open holes in dozens of memorial markers.

Manager Bob Linklater said families with loved ones buried there have been shocked by the heartless crimes.

“They’re very hurt, very angry, very frustrated,” Linklater said.

“We have security here dusk till dawn, seven days a week, and so we’ve been watching it and monitoring it very closely.”

Metal thieves have struck Victory Memorial Park before, snatching bronze plaques with nameplates back in 2007. The plates were eventually replaced, but none were recovered.

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said police are doing preventative patrols around local cemeteries and following up on tips about the recent thefts.

“We do believe that it’ll be very difficult for thieves to get rid of these locally, but if they do I’m sure we’ll get a phone call from some of these metal recycling facilities,” Paquet said.

Linklater said he’s hopeful the stolen vases will be returned, but those that aren’t will be replaced.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Maria Weisgarber