vase theft

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Holly Fesperman LeeSalisbury Post
Thieves tossed the flowers at Memorial Park cemetery and loaded up nearly 100 vases over the weekend.
“We didn’t find it until Tuesday. I had two phone calls from people saying their vases were missing,” said Linda Davis, cemetery division manager for the city of Salisbury.
“I went out there about lunchtime Tuesday and flowers were strewn everywhere,” Davis said. “It looked like a windstorm had went through the cemetery.”
When Davis realized thieves blew through the West Innes Street cemetery, not a strong wind, she filed a report with the Salisbury Police Department.
Davis said the thieves stole 92 of the bronze-colored vases attached by chains to many flat grave markers.
“What they did was, as they walked along the rows of the graves, they pulled the flowers out of the vase, dropped them on the ground and then took hold of the vase and broke it away from the flat marker,” Davis said. “Most of the chains were still lying there.”
Davis found a few of the vases lying on the ground. She said she thought the thieves might have dropped them.
“I don’t know how they got them out of there. I have no idea what 92 vases would look like in the back of a truck,” she said.
The vases are worth about $300 a piece and Bobby Gaulden from Salisbury Marble & Granite said the hefty price relates to the materials used to make the vase.
Memorial Park isn’t responsible for replacing the vases since the plots are individually owned, but Davis said the cemetery will put up two signs advising people to contact the police department if their vase is missing.
Families could get a break on the price of replacing the vase if they contact police for a copy of the report. Davis said Gaulden negotiated with a company that makes the vases and can replace the vases for around $150 if the customer brings a copy of the report.
Davis said owners can use the police report to file a claim on their homeowners insurance, but that might not be much help since most people have a deductible.
Graves have been vandalized at Memorial Park in the past, but Davis said the cemetery has never experienced a theft like this.
But she says it’s a common thing and she’s seen it all over the news.
“I think Rowan Memorial Park got hit last year. I thought then, ‘Gosh, I hope it doesn’t happen to us,’ because the city owns seven cemeteries,” she said.
Police hadn’t identified any suspects Wednesday.
For more information about obtaining a police report or replacing a stolen vase, contact Salisbury Police at 704-638-5333 or Linda Davis at 704-638-5250.
Contact Holly Lee at 704-797-7683 or