Thieves target Albany cemetery - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thieves target Albany cemetery

September 11, 2007

Albany-  Bold thieves are stealing from an Albany cemetery. More than a dozen brass flower vases have disappeared from Floral Memory Gardens on Old Pretoria Road. Family members are appalled and law officers vow to catch and prosecute the morbid thieves.

Brass vases full of flowers mark the graves of many loved ones at Floral Memory Gardens & Mausoleum in Albany, but when Billy Moore's cousin attempted to place flowers on a grave last weekend their vase had vanished.

"Sure enough, there were 15, 20 vases in our area there that were missing, there may be others missing in the cemetery too, I don't know," said Billy Moore.

Billy's step son Michael Moore's vase was also gone, but feet away his wife LaVann's marker and vase were undisturbed.

"There's some sand that's got down into the connector to the mounting plate and it was not easily turned and taken, I don't know what the reason but thank God it's there, it may not be there next time I go, but its there now," said Moore.

Floral Memory Gardens has filed a police report, and directed us to their corporate office, who didn't return our calls. They also wouldn't say how many vases had been taken. Moore said the cemetery has been less than helpful and told him he'll have to replace the vase.

"You can't get much lower than to take things off a grave, I don't think," said Moore.

While family members are frustrated by this crime, law enforcement says if they find out who's doing this the penalties will be severe.

"Stealing specifically from a cemetery or a graveyard when something is put there as a memorial it doesn't matter what the value is that it is a one to three felony," said Ken Hodges, Dougherty District Attorney.

Hodges called the crime cruel and insensitive and if police determine the identity of the thieves, he'll prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Moore's put Albany's recyclers on alert and hopes the thieves will be caught.

A cemetery representative did tell us Albany Police promised to increase patrols in the area around the cemetery.

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