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It’s Sad: Vases Keep Disappearing from this Chattanooga Cemetery

Missing vases in cemetery

“It’s Sad:” Vases Keep Disappearing from this Chattanooga Cemetery

A heart-wrenching discovery has surfaced in Chattanooga as precious bronze vases continue to vanish from a local cemetery, causing distress among families who regularly pay their respects.

The Serious Issue

Disturbed at the sight of empty floral containers lying abandoned among the headstones, Melissa Randolph-Taylor took it upon herself to report the bizarre incidents at Lakewood Memory Gardens West in Chattanooga, where the recurring thefts had gradually increased since later December or early January. ” It’s sad, because some of these people may not have a family that comes to visit. So they might not even know,” she comments.

The family member explains, “The vase was gone and the flowers were stuck in the hole as many other graves have been done that way.” During one of her visits, she stumbled upon a duffle bag filled with the stolen vases.

Randolph-Taylor feels frustrated with local authorities’ response, stating that they said they would address the issue but the situation has scarcely improved. The brazen thieves are not only stealing flowers, going as far as reselling them but now they have now escalated to stealing vases as well.

The Financial Impact

Those unfamiliar with cemetery operations may not comprehend the financial burden this presents. Each missing base amounts to a significant loss for the families affected.

“The headstone that I purchased was $5,200, a little over $5,200, the gentleman that I spoke with yesterday at the cemetery said to replace a vase, it can be up to $300,” Randolph-Taylor says.

The Cemetery’s response

Responding to the worrisome situation, the operators of Lakewood Memory Gardens West have issued a statement:

“Our Lakewood Memorial Gardens West location, where these thefts took place, has no office space or staff on-site. In response to the thefts, we are cooperating fully with the police in their criminal investigations and have been working to return the stolen property that was recovered as promptly as we can.”

They are also requesting patrons to report any suspicious or criminal activity immediately to the police and have asked for increased police patrols to deter future criminal activity.

Looking Ahead

While the cemetery management plans to install additional lighting as a safety measure, Randolph-Taylor insists more proactive steps are necessary. It’s a sad state of affairs that continues to cause anxiety among the visitors and families who frequent this serene location. They simply want justice, security, and a sense of peace restored to a place meant for respect and remembrance.

Let’s hope that the individual actions of concerned members like Melissa Randolph-Taylor, along with increased police vigilance, will deter these heartless thieves from their insensitive activities.

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