Graves in Nieuw-Vennep robbed again and again: relatives feel powerless

The items that relatives leave at the De Lindenhof cemetery in Nieuw-Vennep are stolen all the time. “You feel powerless,” says Yentl Meijer, who, together with her mother, regularly lays flowers on the grave of her grandfather and grandmother.

Yentl’s mother placed a planter with daffodils on her parents’ grave this month, but a few days later it was stolen again. “My mother was crying,” says Yentl. “It does a lot.”

In the past nine months, this was the tenth time something has been stolen from Yentl’s grandfather and grandmother’s grave. She finds it incomprehensible that someone would steal these things. “This place should be safe,” she says. “It has so much emotion to put something there.”

Keep an eye on things

Her mother reported the thefts to the manager, but she felt not taken seriously. Yentl therefore enlisted the help of her fellow villagers via Facebook and asked them to keep an eye on things. It turned out that many surviving relatives faced the same problem.

Yentl and other relatives decided to report grave desecration to the police. She also encourages other victims to report the crime. “Only when enough reports are made will the police start an investigation. That is my only hope.”

In the meantime, Yentl and her mother continue to place something beautiful on the grave every two weeks. “Your feeling says: there is no point in putting anything down, but you do it anyway out of love for the relatives.”

The Lindenhof is one of the cemeteries in Haarlemmermeer managed by the municipality. According to councilor Marjolein Steffens, it is not possible to maintain constant supervision. “The pedestrian gate is always open, because people should always be able to visit the grave of a loved one.”

In the event of grave desecration, the municipality recommends reporting it to the police.