Abbeville, AL - Over the past week and a half, dozens of bronze and brass vases were stolen from the Abbeville Memorial Cemetery. Police have no leads, and victims are speaking out.
“That’s my son. When you do that you are stepping on the line,” says Irvin Carter.
His 7-month-old son is buried in the Abbeville Memorial Cemetery. Carter was taking new flowers to the grave for his birthday when he noticed the bronze vase was missing, but he isn’t the only victim.
“We walked all over and noticed about 50 or 60 pots that are gone,” says Carter.
Abbeville Police Lieutenant Noel Vanlandingham, “The cemetery has one center light. The way the light was shining cast a v-pattern over the cemetery and they took all the vases that are in the darker areas.”
The thefts total about $18,000, and police believe the thieves are selling the vases as scrap metal, and that doesn’t sit well with them.
“Stealing somebody’s tin and scrap metal is a lot different from stealing from somebody’s loved one. We’re going to take a hard line stance on this,” says Lieutenant Vanlandingham.
“I think your family feels violated. It’s just a sad circumstance,” says Sarah Williams.
Her parents, husband, three brothers, and sister-in-law were all laid to rest in this cemetery. She hopes those responsible are brought to justice.
“I just think about that night when they were being violated. No one knew their name. No one knew their stories or their histories. There was no connection, just stealing, and that is heartbreaking,” says Williams.
There has been a report of a small white truck with a camper top and two white males in their 30s that could be connected to the crimes.
Those responsible could be charged with theft of property and desecration of a gravesite.
If you have any information you are asked to call the Abbeville Police Department at 334-585-2222.