People are malicious and mean! And how! This year my sister bought beautiful and expensive flowers to put on granddad grave. Next day ‘ the flowers weren`t there anymore!‘ says a shocked Internet user at forum. This embittered post is already 11 years old but such disgraceful acts happen again and again.

Statistics of human remains profanation and graves plunder cases are like a sine curve. At times, they grow (1918 cases in 2007), sometimes fall (730 in 2009) and raise again (1223 in 2014) but these evil acts still bewilder.

Not all thefts are reported, as losses are not big enough to name the incidents crimes. When the theft of a movable has a value less than a quarter of minimum wage, the case is classified as an offence. No matter the detectability rate, every year gravediggers are pursued.

Dog eat dog and gravedigger digs a grave for himself

This year, municipal guards in London, led an operation called ‘Digger‘ in order to prevent grave lanterns and flower wreaths larcenies.

Initially, diggers robbed fresh graves, stealing jewellery found by the deceased. Nowadays, they focus on cleaning tombstones. Whatever you leave on the grave, the things may disappear at dawn.

But you do can see them disappearing! – with aid of night-vision devices. You can also record things vanishing with monitoring systems, so called photo traps. And if you install a mini video camera on a tomb, it may even take pictures of perpetrators.


Gravedigger caught red-handed. After many years night-vision devices reached cemeteries

When at night, sparkling lanterns light the cemetery, gravediggers start their work. They prowl the alleys and their shadows steal among tombstones. They take everything that can be sold. With night-vision devices which work in Cimmerian darkness, catching wrongdoers become more and more effective. Do you know the feeling when there is absolute obscurity around you. Your eyes seem then useless. Only after a moment, your eyes get used to the darkness and can distinguish shapes but your visual perception is still very weak. 

With a night-vision device however, you would see like in broad daylight. Night-vision aid was invented 90 years ago. It has a build-in light amplifier, which increases the intensity of light to a value, which makes possible for human eyes observe the surrounding and this mean the intensity of light becomes couple of thousands times stronger.

The device only needs some stray light from stars or from the moon. Even in a completely dark alley, the equipment will discover an evildoer hidden in bushes. In total darkness, an additional illuminator or a long-range IR device will do.

All night paparazzi – a shooting session with use of a photo trap

You aren’t  able to personally monitor the graves of your nearest and dearest all day long, but a photo trap can; resistant to temperatures and falls but sensitive to any movement. All is recorded and sent to a given phone number.

Photo traps have been installed in many places. The monitoring and recording system has camouflaged casings, whose military colours are invisible among trees and bushes. This way, the photo trap can see any intruder in the visual field. The devices are used by hunters, owners of premises but also urban services, as they gained trust of communities and made them purchase such systems to protect public places.

If you had a photo trap installed over the grave of your family member, it would record any movement and you would be texted or sent an email with a film. That’s how it works. A municipal guard receives such an notification in case of larceny threat.

Watch out! If you like taking evening strolls in a cemetery, a photo trap will take a record of you, when you happen to approach too much to a tombstone.

Mini video camera at a tombstone. In a lantern, among flowers or at a picture of the deceased?

If a mini camcorder can be installed in alarm clocks, pendrives, coffee mugs or in pens, why it couldn`t be placed in the vicinity of a tombstone? Moreover, thieves prowl there quite regularly.

A controversial incident took place in the center of England. A concerned relative not only installed a video recorder directed to a grave, but he also placed a printed picture of a thief with inscription: ‘It’s me, the thief.‘ The kind of stigmatising surely deters from unworthy deeds, but it can also be taken as infringement of personal interests. So be careful! Installing a video camera in a candle can seem reckless because  the same candle may land again on market – together with the equipment! On the other hand, thanks to a GPS localiser placed in a solar lamp, a thief was caught in a foreign country.

Does monitoring a graveyard make sens? Some statistics from show that monitoring system in the old cemetery, scared off thieves, vandals and dipsos. Although, the result of installing the system in a cemetery  turned out to be quite surprising ‘ it’s roe deer which stole flowers.

Robber in action. Have eyes in the back of your head! A video camera can't replace common sens.

Despite all the systems and devices, you can’t rule out the risk of thefts. They mostly happen in crowded places like means of transports, concerts and other festive events. Nothing helps as much as common sens.

Don’t take any valuable things with you: smart phone, credit card, money, jewellery.

Don’t carry expensive rucksacks or handbags which could be stolen when left unassisted for a sec.

Keep your indispensable money, a mobile phone or a driving licence in inside pockets. If you have a rucksack or a handbag with you, keep them at the front when you find yourself in means of transport, at a concert or anywhere in the crowd.

Don’t leave valuable objects in your car.

Remember, the living are threats not the dead and it’s not only in a graveyard.

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