Letters to the Editor

Cemetery theft

April 11, 2012


To the editor:

On Friday before Easter, I went to visit my grandson. You see, he is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence. As I sat down by him, I noticed our solar stake lights and statue of an angel were missing. To whomever took them, I hope you are enjoying them at home or at your relative’s grave. You should be ashamed of yourself for stealing from a baby. I will be replacing them. Please have some respect for all who have gone before us.


pace 5 years, 10 months ago

I am sorry this happened. I hope that some fool comes to his/their senses and returns them. It is just wrong.

waiting 5 years, 10 months ago

I doubt it, they have already proved they are heartless.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 10 months ago

Stealing from a grave has got to be worth getting stuck in one of the lowest levels of the infernal regions for a few thousand years.

waiting 5 years, 10 months ago

Probably sitting next to the bird bath stolen off of my mother's grave. Seems like someone is decorating their yard by stealing from grieving families.

Mike Ford 5 years, 10 months ago

grave theft was legalized through the antiquities act of 1906. some people want roads through graveyards because what counts for one race doesn't matter for others. the munsee cemetery southeast of pomona has had kids partying in it and grave stones stolen. sorry for your loss.

pagan_idolator 5 years, 10 months ago

I have noticed things taken off my nephew's grave at Memorial cemetery as well. What drives these people to be so heartless and disrespectful?

Aileen Dingus 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm not trying to be a jerk, and I'm certainly not minimizing your pain, but have you checked with the cemetary office? The items may have been removed pursuant to the regulations. (http://www.lprd.org/_parks/pdf/cemeteryrules.pdf) I specifically mean section B.7. "No physical structures or materials allowed beside the monument"

I don't know if your lights etc fall under that rule, but it is a possibility that an Oak Hill employee thought they did, and removed them for that reason.

LadyJ 5 years, 10 months ago

There is actually two cemeteries there. The Catholic cemetery, Mt. Calvary (I think is the name) is right in front before you enter the Oak Hill cemetery. You can tell the easily tell difference, one has decorations and such all over, the other one only has a few flowers here and there.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 10 months ago

I think you may have identified the culprit right there.

abigman 5 years, 10 months ago

I had the ceramic angel right under the marker for the past 3 yrs with no problem. It was about 6 inches high with about an inch of the base embedded in the ground. The lights were close enough to the marker as well. I have been to the burial site numerous times after it was mowed with everything still intacted. If you gaze to other sites-you could see shepard hooks, solar light posts, shrubs, tall vases, statues and other ornaments in the same general "baby hill" (hill where children/infants are interred.) My intentions for this letter is to express my displeasure for cemetery theft and that people need to know that cemeteries should be respected and protected.

LadyJ 5 years, 10 months ago

You are definitely referring to Mt. Calvary cemetery. I love walking around there when I visit a grave site there. I love to see the things that are left there that obviously meant something special to the deceased. Saw two cans of Dr. Pepper left there that had obviously been there a while. Must have been their favorite drink.

Mike Hatch 5 years, 10 months ago

When I was pretty young, I remember my mom running some kind of errand at a business over on west 6th street---kind of over by where the Pennzoil oil change place is now. There is an area with black iron fencing in some very old looking grave markers (or there was...this was about 35 or more years ago). I was sitting in the car, waiting, when I noticed a few kids in there messing around. Then one of them pulled up one of the stones and used it to knock down a few others. It was one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen and will never forget that.

Christine Anderson 5 years, 10 months ago

If you try to pay respects by means of flowers or tiny wooden statues, beware of the groundskeepers at Pioneer Cemetery! Spent hours carefully planting two miniature rose bushes (within half an inch from the headstone) and left two small statues at the grave of a special person who would have been grandfather to babies I lost. Idiots mowed the roses off and mowed off the head of one of the statues. At nearby graves, toy boats, cars, and fishing gear ( clearly left in honor of loved and missed grandparents) were left undisturbed.

I am so sorry Ms. Bigman, to hear you have experienced the same thing.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 10 months ago

I, too, am very sorry about your loss, and wish, as you, that whoever is responsible would return the items to the cemetery.

I do, however, have a suggestion that might mitigate future situations. My father's grave is adorned with several items left by grieving friends. For instance, there is a golf ball (Titleist 2, all he would use) and a tee epoxied to the gravestone base. Other items are also permanently attached, and never has anyone broken them off or taken them.

On the subject of plants and addenda to the gravesite, I am sure the cemetery maintainers would be appreciative (if they even allow such plantings and additions) if such things were physically separated from the general grounds, i.e., a small fence or garden enclosure surrounding the pland or statue. There could be no doubt, then, as to what was to be mowed and what wasn't. HOWEVER, unless you have made arrangements with the maintainers that they understand these placements and will trim them regularly, you must be responsible for such trimming. The rest of the famillies of the deceased have a right for your plot to be as neatly kept as theirs and the regular trimming of your precious things is the only way that the character of the plot will match the rest of the cemetery.

I hope you take this in the spirit in which it is given: the belief that your plot is as precious to you as ohters are to their families. May your God bless you for remembering and honoring your deceased, and may others have the same respect for the grave that you do.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

Karma's a b*tch sometimes, but those who steal from the dead will feel its weight sometime down the road.

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