Family of men killed in Levin car crash offers reward for return of memorial items
The family of three young men killed in a horror smash have offered a cash reward in an effort to get items taken from a roadside memorial returned.
Personal items including bandanas, toys, notes to the boys and photos were placed on a street pole in Levin after the July car crash that killed them.
Heather Simonsen, the mother of two of the boys, discovered the items had been removed last week, and has appealed for someone to come forward and return them.
She hoped that by offering money she will get her irreplaceable photos, notes and items back.
* Mother distraught after memorial to three men killed in Levin car crash is stripped
* Levin crash victims remembered with memorial cruise through Porirua
* Safety fear after graves desecrated and skid marks left
"This person has gone to a lot of effort at whatever hour of the night and taken it away," Simonsen whose sons Jesse Simonsen, 18 and Shand Cotgrove, 24 died in the crash said.
"To me they've trashed my babies' grave site."
Jesse Simonsen,Cotgrove, and their friend Jacob Gray were killed when their car smashed into a parked truck in the early hours of a Sunday morning in late July, and burst into flames.
After the crash, the site on Cambridge St, Levin became a memorial.
"You think if someone had a problem with it they would talk to us," Cotgrove's partner Courtney Warren, said.
"I don't care who did it, I just want the stuff back."
Sergeant Paul Rainham, said Levin police were aware the memorial pole had been stripped.
The removal of the items could be treated as theft or offensive behaviour, depending on what items were taken and for what reason, he said.
"It is disappointing that someone has taken the items without regard for the family," Rainham said. "You should have a little bit of respect for the family that is mourning."
Anyone who knows where the items are can anonymously contact Crimestoppers or return them to the police station.
Electra energy, which owns and maintains the telegraph pole on Cambridge St, and Horowhenua District Council have confirmed their staff did not remove the items.
The council did not have a policy on roadside memorials and was unaware of any other roadside memorials, Horowhenua district council's road servicing manager Kevin Peel said.
* The family has asked anyone who has the memorial photos and items, or know where they are, to return them in a secure bag to the site, or follow instructions left at the site.
* Contact Crimestoppers 0800 555 111