Dozens of bronze vases stolen from York Co. cemetery

Dozens of bronze vases stolen from York Co. cemetery


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 4:41 PM

YORK COUNTY, S.C. -- A thief stole nearly 40 bronze vases worth about $12,000 from the Lakeview Memory Gardens cemetery in York County.

The thefts happened over the last two nights near the back of the cemetery, investigators say.

The cemetery is a place of beauty, peace, comfort and final rest--Ben Smith grew up next to it.

"My mother and father are both over there," Smith said.

Some day, he will be, too. He owns two plots, for himself and his wife. Friday's work includes heading to the cemetery to check on his parents' graves after the thefts.

"Anybody who would steal from a cemetery like that, it's got to be low down,” Smith said.

Becky Allen feels the same way.

"I just think it is low," Allen said.

She has two plots at Lakeview Memory Gardens as well. Friday, she brought flowers to her son's grave at a different cemetery, without a vase, specifically because of the thefts.

She didn't want the same thing to happen to her son.

She wouldn't want her family to go through it, if it happens to her once she's gone.

"I think it would be devastating,” Allen said.  "It's disrespectful for what a grave cemetery represents.”

Obviously somebody didn't care.  Investigators say the bronze vases could likely end up sold as scrap metal, and the thief is likely to get cents on the dollar.

Jerry Parker owns two plots here as well and says it's just sad someone would stoop so low for a couple of dollars.

"People have gotten to the point where they will steal anything.  If it's not tied down, it will go,” Parker said.

So far there have been no arrests.

The cemetery isn't commenting about the crimes or saying if they plan to replace the vases.