PDT Staff Writer
Owners of an area cemetery are struggling to replace 140 stolen bronze vases in time for Memorial Day.
Helen Sellers, office manager for Sunset Memorial Gardens in Franklin Furnace, said thieves have been entering the cemetery at night over the last year and making off with the solid bronze vases.
She said the thefts have forced her to install security cameras, and a bright yellow sign warning visitors they are being watched, day or night.
“We’ve spent $5,000 thus far replacing the stolen vases and spent $3,000 on security cameras. Those are expenditures that’s been necessary because of the thefts,” Sellers said.
Sellers said some families will be angry when they show up this weekend with flowers and no where to put them.
“It costs about $350 for us to replace one of the vases and they might get $8 or $10 out of one at a scrap yard,” Sellers said.
In addition to the theft, the removal of some vases has caused damage to the grave plates.
“There is no pattern to this, people are just taking them. There is nothing else we can do besides catching them red-handed. We’ve got all of the mechanisms in place to do so,” Sellers said.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.