Vases stolen from local cemetery

December 8, 2011 4:45:38 PM PST
Adding insult to injury, grieving families who visit one cemetery are fed up with metal thieves targeting graves.

Going to lay out Christmas decorations at a relative's grave site is how a family found out a bronze vase had been stolen. And the cemetery in question says it has been hit before.

"As you can see next to my father's grave, that was probably a vase right there, that was probably a vase right there, but those look like there were taken a long time ago," David Gonzalez said.

The Christmas decorations are up at his father's grave site, but the slot where a bronze vase stood is now an empty hole.

"Augustin Gonzalez is my dad; this plot is reserved for my mother," he said.

Over the last two weeks someone stole the vase that cost the family a few hundred dollars back in 2005. Gonzalez believes it's the work of metal thieves.

"Of course if I where here when he was here, I would be angry at him and I would stop him," Gonzalez said.

And if you take a look around, finding a bronze vase anywhere in Forest Park Cemetery off Lawndale is a task. Slot after slot is hollow, a sight other visitors are used to seeing.

"If you see a vase, it ain't going to be there very long. They come in at night, after dark, and there is an opening in the fence down there by the bayou," cemetery visitor Edward Race said.

And Gonzalez's father's grave backs right up to the bayou where the fence stops.

Forest Park Cemetery's general manager says stolen vases are an issue; 18 were swiped back in July 18.

As for Gonzalez, it's upsetting, but he thinks the empty slot might just have to stay that way.

"We're not going to replace the vase, period. It will be stolen again. A plastic one just doesn't cut it and a brass one is just too vulnerable," he said.

The general manager of Forest Park Cemetery says in most cases, if a client files a police report that they will replace the vase at 50 percent off.

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