07/25/2017 20:53 EDT | Updated 07/26/2017 19:41 EDT

Edmonton Police Investigate Disappearance Of 15 Metal Plaques

"As a community, we are devastated," a community group said.

Griesbach Community League
More than 15 metal plaques have disappeared in one Edmonton neighbourhood.

UPDATE - July 26, 2017: Police have recovered most of the historical memorial plaques stolen from an Edmonton neighbourhood but say they are too badly damaged to be used again. Investigators say the plaques had been sold to a scrap metal dealer who called police after seeing media reports about the thefts. Police are asking for tips from the public as they search for a suspect.

Edmonton police are investigating the theft of metal plaques from a city neighbourhood that honour military heroes and some of the grimmest battles from Canada's history.

The Griesbach Community League says more than 15 metal plaques have been removed from the residential community that used be an army base.

Some of the plaques tell the stories of soldiers from Alberta who were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration for gallantry.

Another tells the story of the Second World War battle of Ortona, a bloody battle for a town in Italy that cost Canada more than 2,300 casualties, including troops from the Loyal Edmonton Regiment.

Griesbach Community League
The Griesbach Community League says more than 15 metal plaques like this one have been stolen in Edmonton.

One of the plaques has information about the involvement of Canadian soldiers in the First World War battle of the Somme in France.

Brad Tilley, president of the Griesbach Community League, says the plaques were pryed off their stands and people are worried the thieves will melt them down for scrap.

"As a community, we are devastated," Tilley said Tuesday in a release.

"Residents take great pride in our neighbourhood's unique character and the ways it remembers those who sacrificed so much for our country. It is an absolutely senseless and disrespectful crime."

As a community, we are devastated.Brad Tilley

There is hope the plaques will be recovered and can be reinstalled.

Tilley said veterans and their families visit the community to view the plaques and pay tribute to the soldiers.

"It is a real dishonour to those who have served. There are still several plaques within the community. We hope they don't try to come back to get these as well."

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