Vases stolen from tomb­stones

The Covington News - - Front page - By Am­ber Pittman apittman@cov­news.com

When Wanda Davis thinks of her de­ceased par­ents, it is with love and re­spect. But when she thinks of what has been stolen from them, she is seething.

That’s be­cause bronze vases were stolen from their tomb­stones in the vet­er­ans sec­tion of Lawn­wood Me­mo­rial Park off Ac­cess Road. About 60 vases, which are val­ued at $100 each, were yanked from var­i­ous graves in the ceme­tery over the week­end. The theft was dis­cov­ered Mon­day.

“They (the thieves) so po­litely took the flow­ers out of the vases and laid them over on the grave,” she said. “And it isn’t just my mother and daddy. All over the vet­er­ans sec­tion you see that those vases are gone, all but about four or five.”

Po­lice pa­trols have been stepped up at lo­cal ceme­ter­ies af­ter thieves made off with thou­sands of dol­lars worth of vases. How­ever, Cov­ing­ton Po­lice De­tec­tive Daniel Seals said this isn’t a new phe­nom­e­non.

“We’re see­ing theft like this a lot more now that stolen metal is be­ing taken out of the county to sell,” said Seals. “It’s a lot eas­ier for a thief to come up with a line if they take some­thing to DeKalb County. Then, if the re­cy­cling cen­ter calls au­thor­i­ties in that county to see if the item is stolen, they have no knowl­edge of a theft

Stolen dig­nity:

be­cause it didn’t oc­cur in that county.”

Davis said this is the sec­ond time vases were taken from her par­ents’ graves. The first in­stance the ceme­tery paid to re­place them, but this time, that cost falls to the fam­ily.

“When I got the call Mon­day, I was so up­set I could not even call the rest of my fam­ily and tell them,” she said. “It was in­fu­ri­at­ing to know that we’ve got thieves that will steal from the dead. I was be­yond mad.”

Davis has two sib­lings, both of whom live out of the county. She looks at it as her re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure their par­ents’ fi­nal rest­ing place is cared for. Flow­ers are left on the graves reg­u­larly and fam­ily mem­bers visit of­ten.

“They’re steal­ing from the dead,” said Davis. “These peo­ple served their time here and those vases are paid for by fam­i­lies so we can go out there and cel­e­brate who our loved ones were by putting flow­ers there… How would these peo­ple feel if some­one had stolen from their par­ents who had passed on and are gone? If it’s just be­cause they wanted a lit­tle money, then they need to get up and go work for it and leave the dead alone.”

Ac­cord­ing to Seals, the price the metal from the vases would fetch would fluc­tu­ate depend­ing on the mar­ket and the weight, but added that it would be “a whole lot cheaper than what the per­son paid for it.”

There is no law against a re­cy­cling cen­ter pur­chas­ing vases, some of which are stamped with the name of the ceme­tery.

At min­i­mum, a thief could be charged with theft by tak­ing, but could also be charged with des­e­cra­tion of a grave. A theft of 60 vases with a com­bined value of $6,000 would be a felony.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion on the thefts is asked to con­tact the Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment at (770) 786-7605 or on­line at www. cov­ing­ton­po­lice.com. Tips can be given anony­mously.

Brit­tany Thomas/The Cov­ing­ton News

Wanda Davis dis­cov­ered the bronze vase that adorned her par­ents' grave was stolen.

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