Thieves have brazenly removed historical bronze plaques from parks and gardens across Boroondara. The first plaque was stolen from Alexandra Gardens in early January 2018, with the thieves then moving onto Canterbury Gardens.
Four bronze plaques have been removed from Alexandra Gardens, including one from a World War II memorial wall. Items stolen from Alexandra Gardens include:
- an interpretative plaque pertaining to ten bronze sculptures donated by artist Leopoldine Mimovich O.A.M. to the people of Kew in 1980
- a commemorative plaque installed in 2014 honouring George Pockett for his services as the first curator of the gardens
- a plaque recognising the initiative of Rotary Club of Kew, ‘Access for all’ bicentenary project 1987-88
- a plaque on a war memorial wall commemorating the efforts of the Greek allied forces.
Further offences also occurred in Canterbury Gardens, with thieves pilfering a commemorative plaque from a stone seat and a sundial erected in 1937 as a memorial to Captain J.C.L. Biggsley.
Councillor Jim Parke, Mayor of Boroondara said he was outraged at the senseless thefts and that residents and visitors to the parks and gardens deserved to enjoy the plaques and artefacts.
“Stealing bronze plaques is robbing the community of its heritage and is disrespectful to those honoured by such tributes. This is appalling behaviour and won't be tolerated,” Cr Parke said.
“We are working closely to assist Victoria Police with its investigations. We are preserving our remaining plaques, removing some valuable items for safekeeping and employing guards to patrol the gardens at night.”
"Somebody must have information about the thefts and I encourage anyone with such knowledge to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to make an anonymous report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au."
Cr Parke also urged community members to keep an eye out and report any illegal activities to the police.
“I encourage anyone who sees suspicious behaviour in our parks and gardens to report it immediately to Victoria Police by calling 000.”
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