POLICE have not ruled out a theory that professional thieves carried out the sickening attack on Birkby's Norman Park war memorial.
During the incident, which is believed to have taken place either late Friday or early Saturday, the brass plates listing the names of those who died were stolen and the bronze lone soldier statue was toppled. The statue has now been removed by Kirklees Council.
The plates could be worth hundreds of pounds each in auctions which specialise in war memorabilia.
Pedro Gaspar, of national charity Friends of War Memorials, said: "These things do have a value. In the past after being stolen they have appeared on the internet and also they can be sold at auctions."
Sgt Mick Semenczuk, of Huddersfield police, said they could not discount the professional theft of the plates.
"We have had extra patrols down there and are speaking to people to find out exactly what happened," he said.
Bob Mortimer, chairman of the West Yorkshire Royal British Legion, said he was still upset by the attack.
"If people have done this for material gain then it's a disgrace," he said.
"Whoever did it and for whatever reason, it is still disgusting.
"The names on those plates are people who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could live in a safer world today."
It is believed a rope or machinery was used in the attack to pull down the lone soldier who stood on the memorial.
Yesterday council masons were on site to assess the damage to the memorial, which they believed would cost thousands of pounds to put right.
Mr Mortimer added: "It's like people have to pay twice, not only do they lose the names on the war memorial but then through taxes, they have to pay for them to be replaced, while thieves are making money from their misery."
Anyone with information about the incident should call the police on 01484 436659.