Detectives looking for thieves stealing vases from grave sites

MATAGORDA COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Detectives hope your tips can help catch whoever is stealing vases from a Matagorda County cemetery.

Since Thanksgiving, at least 150 vases have been stolen from the Roselawn Memorial Park, according to sheriff's detectives. Operators of the cemetery say that number is closer to 300.

"Just anger... anger that they would do this," Scooter Hearn said. He's a Matagorda County Sheriff's Deputy but also a victim. His mother just passed away just two weeks ago. He lost his father in 1975. The vase that once held flowers on their shared headstone - gone.

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"It's stupid and senseless. Why they have to deface graves and stuff like that to get that it just doesn't make any sense," he said.

The vases were targeted because they are made of bronze and can be sold as scrap, investigators said. The thieves are getting about $30 bucks per vase from a shady scrap metal dealer or dealers somewhere. By law they're not supposed to take vases like these unless accompanied by a letter from the cemetery.

"(This) hit a lot of people hard in the community," said Sgt. Randy Worthey from the Matagorda County Sheriff's Office.

A majority of the vases are easily removed. Those who run the cemetery say if they have a chain tying them to the headstone that's easily cut or broken.

"I think it's just despicable," said Faye Wells. She lives near the cemetery.

Officials say they are working to add cameras, lighting and sheriff's patrols.

Investigators hope you can help catch whoever has stolen the serenity here. "It makes you really mad. They need to do something to make this right. I don't know how they're gonna do it," said Hearn.

The first step is catching those responsible. The Matagorda County Sheriff's Office asks that you call Sgt. Riddle at (979) 241-3220 if you know anything about this.

The cemetery says its offered replacement vases to victims at their cost which ranges between $100-280, plus tax. null
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