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Thieves Target Mementos Left at Gravesites

Thieves Target Mementos Left at Gravesites

Posted - Dec. 20, 2004 at 7:42 a.m.



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Sandra Yi ReportingYour loved ones' final resting place may be a prime target for thieves. If you look around, there are a lot of beautiful holiday decorations out at the cemeteries. But they could be gone, tomorrow.

Burdell Wakefield: "People steal the wreaths and figurines and angels."

Thieves Target Mementos Left at Gravesites

The holidays can bring out the best -- and, apparently, the worst, in people.

To some, cemeteries aren't so sacred. Thieves will swipe special mementos meant for loved ones.

Burdell Wakefield: "I don't understand why people steal that stuff."

Burdell Wakefield is the grounds manager for Lindquist Memorial Park. He says thieves will hit his cemeteries year-round. But it can be worse at Christmas.

Burdell Wakefield: "People grieve in different way, and they put something out that's important to them, you know. And even if it's a five dollar item, it means a lot to them. And if somebody steals it, I think it's pretty rotten."

And it's difficult to catch the culprits. Signs don't deter them.

Burdell Wakefield: "We see someone taking something off somebody's grave, we don't know if it's family members or whatever, so we have a hard time stopping them."

It's disheartening to hear for people like Laura Dyreng. She and her 10-year old son were visiting the grave of a friend who drowned this summer. They plan to come back with a little tree for the gravesite.

Laura Dyreng: “It would be heartbreaking because you already miss them and you’re trying to do something to feel a little bit closer to them, and to have it be taken away, it would be that much sadder.”

Sadly, the grounds manager says, if you put decorations on a gravesite, plan on losing it. He says try to not buy anything too expensive and don't put out anything you want to keep.

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