Desecrating graves is an unthinkable act, and Soncia Taylor knows it's happening in the heart of Oklahoma City.
"I brought some flowers and I'm going to have to figure out some way to mount them," Taylor said in disbelief that the bronze vase on her mother's headstone was gone.
She first noticed the vase missing on December 2nd, just a few days after police reports indicated Amy Thompson, 41, and Alan Burton, 53, were arrested on the charges of Grand Larceny.
Edmond Police had discovered they were stealing from headstones at Gracelawn Cemetery, a cemetery only a few miles from where Taylor's mother is buried at Memorial Park, near Kelley Avenue and Memorial.
"It's very unsettling, very unsettling, I just don't understand why anyone would do that," Taylor said in disgust as she stared at her mother's damaged headstone.
She counted as many as four vases missing in the same vicinity as her mother's plot.
Taylor said she reported the theft to the grounds keeper but was told there was nothing they could do.
Desperate for answers, she reported the theft to the Oklahoma City Police Department, where she pointed out the suspects arrested in Edmond could be responsible.
Now, that's she done all of that, she's pleading with the thief as a last resort," if they would just return it no questions asked!" she said.
Memorial Park Cemetery released the following statement:
"It saddens us that thieves are preying on cemeteries and gravesites to commit these crimes. Unfortunately, the theft of bronze from cemeteries is an issue at cemeteries across North America. As the price of metal continues to rise, so does the theft of those metals. We hope that area scrap metal dealers will continue to be watchful for people selling bronze vases from cemetery property and to contact local law enforcement to report any suspicious activity. Theft of any kind is unacceptable, but thefts on cemetery property are particularly despicable. We do work with families on a case by case basis to replace vases.
We do take the safety and security of our park very seriously, however, cemeteries, by their nature, are open to the public, so it would be unrealistic to restrict all access to the property. We keep our beautiful cemetery open to the public so that the families we serve may visit their loved ones whenever they choose to. We encourage any family with property at our park to contact us if they have any concerns. "- Kim Tarleton, Corporate Communications