Police looking for leads after $40,000 in cemetery vases reporte - | WBTV Charlotte

Police looking for leads after $40,000 in cemetery vases reported stolen

LENOIR, NC (WBTV) -

Jim Dorian looked across Blue Ridge Memorial Park in Lenoir,where several of his friends are buried, and just shook his head.

"There'sa special place in hell for the ones who did this," he said. More than 130bronze vases were stolen over the weekend from the grave markers at thecemetery.

Thieves didn't clean out any one specific area, instead, they stolethe vases in such a way that from the street, it doesn't seem like anything iswrong. Walking among the graves, however, it's easy to see where theystruck. 

Empty holes in the flat bronzegrave markers showed where each vase used to be. "It's just like stealingfrom the dead," said Dorian.

On Wednesday morning, a flood of visitors came to thecemetery, wanting to see if their loved ones graves had been hit.

"It'shurtful to all of us," said Mary Fleming as looked around. Herfamily's grave sites had not been disturbed but Geneva Rhodes was not so lucky.The vase on her first husband's grave was gone.

"It's just desecrating thedead," she said.

The City of Lenoir is planning to replace the vases thatwere stolen. The cemetery is owned by the city.

Even so, people who walked thesite said the pain of what happened won't go away anytime soon.

"The deadare supposed to rest in peace," said one woman.

Police investigatorshave alerted scrapyards in the area because that's where they believe the thiefwill take the bronze vases.

Each one, when new, could sell retail for about$300 but as scrap are only worth about $6.50 apiece.

"We have alertedscrap yards, put out press releases and are seeking any information onthis," said Police Captain Couby Stilwell.

In 2005, more than a hundredvases were taken from the same cemetery and were found days later at ascrap yard in Gaston County where company officials there said they didn'trealize what the items were.

The vases had been spray painted yellow. Enoughinformation was obtained to make arrests. Officials say laws have beentightened in the scrap and recycle business and there is a chance the crookswon't find any place to sell the bronze vases.

Scrap yards contacted by WBTV onWednesday said they were watching for anyone bringing vases in and had no plansto buy any. 

Police hope that just anattempt to sell them will lead to an arrest.

Jim Dorian says the thieves shouldjust quit. "They need to man up or woman up and return the stuff," hesaid. "Put it out front after hours," he added. 

Even so, Jim doesn't think that will happen.Police don't either.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call theLenoir Police Department or Crimestoppers at 828-758-8300. A reward may beoffered for the right information .

Copyright 2014 WBTV. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Bitcoins worth $100,000 stolen over public wireless network

    Bitcoins worth $100,000 stolen over public wireless network

    Thursday, November 23 2017 6:20 PM EST2017-11-23 23:20:33 GMT

    A police statement Wednesday says the Bitcoins were moved to an "unknown, non-traceable account."

    More >>

    A police statement Wednesday says the Bitcoins were moved to an "unknown, non-traceable account."

    More >>
  • Facebook users will soon be able to see if they interacted with Russian trolls

    Facebook users will soon be able to see if they interacted with Russian trolls

    Thursday, November 23 2017 5:50 PM EST2017-11-23 22:50:49 GMT
    (Source: WBTV/File)(Source: WBTV/File)

    The company said that over the course of three years, approximately 29 million people were "delivered" or "served" content from pages related to the Russian troll farm

    More >>

    The company said that over the course of three years, approximately 29 million people were "delivered" or "served" content from pages related to the Russian troll farm

    More >>
  • Kannapolis Christmas Tree lighting set for Saturday

    Kannapolis Christmas Tree lighting set for Saturday

    Thursday, November 23 2017 5:25 PM EST2017-11-23 22:25:26 GMT
    Source: City of KannapolisSource: City of Kannapolis

    A Kannapolis Christmas will officially kick off at Village Park with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m., Saturday, November 25. 

    More >>

    A Kannapolis Christmas will officially kick off at Village Park with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m., Saturday, November 25. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly