'It has given me faith in human beings': Stolen headstone returned to Balingup mum

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"It has given me faith in human beings."

Balingup mum Susan Pember is describing her feelings after her son's stolen headstone was finally returned to the family.

On November 1, Ms Pember went to lay flowers on her son's grave on the 18th anniversary of his death, only to discover that the 50 centimetre bronze phoenix affix to his grave had been stolen.

The bronze statue had stood by Jesse Pember's final resting place at Balingup Cemetery since 1999, after the 17-year-old's life was cut short by a fatal car crash.

The headstone had cost the family $3000.

"I had given up to be quite honest," Ms Pember said.

But when a manager of J&P Group, which is a metal scrap-yard in Picton, saw the media reports, he asked all his staff to keep a look out for the statue.

On Wednesday, a 39-year-old man from Boyanup turned up at the business, allegedly looking to sell Mr Pember's bronze phoenix for scrap metal.

The manager took his details and called police.

The 39-year-old was later taken to Donnybrook Police Station and charged with stealing.

A Donnybrook Police Station senior constable said the 39-year-old claimed he found the statue on the side of the road.

Ms Pember said she was "over the moon" and would soon return the statue to her son's grave.

Mr Pember's sister Sarah Behan said she had was elated to see it returned and "cried more" than when it was taken.

This story 'It has given me faith in human beings': Stolen headstone returned to Balingup mum first appeared on WA Today.