A heroin user allegedly stole hundreds of gravestone plaques and vases from a Fremantle Cemetery depot and was trying to offload them for scrap metal, police claim.
The 48-year-old man, who is in hospital being treated for a suspected heroin overdose, has been charged with stealing about 200 plaques and vases.
It is understood the items were at the cemetery depot for recycling and that no plaques were taken from existing graves within the cemetery.
Det-Sen. Sgt Chris Turner, officer in charge of the Peel district crime team, said a 24-year-old has also been charged over the thefts.
Peel district crime team officers arrested the men yesterday after allegedly disturbing them trying to break into cars in Rockingham.
When officers searched the men's vehicle they allegedly found the plaques and stolen builders' equipment.
Police alleged that after the men were charged and released on bail, the 48-year-old burgled two business premises on his way home to Mosman Park.
When police went to his house last night they found he had collapsed of an alleged drug overdose.
He is under police guard at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
Police do not believe the same men are responsible for damage at Karrakatta cemetery overnight on Thursday in which about 50 gravestones were damaged at a cost of $250,000.
Police are still appealing for information on that attack.