AMBER Valley Borough Council is appealing for the return of a unique key to a historic chapel after it was stolen during a break in at Leabrooks Cemetery.
The eight inch cast steel alloy key was taken as well as grounds maintenance equipment worth over £2,000, which included strimmers and leaf blowers.
The robbery took place between the evening of 14th September and the early hours of 15th September from the cemetery located at the junction of Cemetery Lane, Bridle Lane and Albert Street.
It appears that a crowbar or similar tool was used to smash the padlock to access the store and the Chapel which dates back to around 1895.
Councillor Jack Brown MBE said: “This is utterly despicable. Blowers and strimmers are expensive enough to replace, but the key is over 100 years old and the only one to the chapel and is irreplaceable.
“The cost to overcome the problem of the lost key will be significant. It’s part of the local heritage of the Leabrooks community.”
Anyone with information is being urged to contact the police on 0345 123 3333 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contact the council on 01773 841570.
Security measures at the cemetery are being reviewed as a result of the break in.