OPINION: Cemetery Thefts Thoughtless And Unacceptable

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This letter was written and submitted by Kimmie Diehl Rouse.

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I am writing to vent my sorrow and frustration over a theft.

Sometime over Christmas week someone stole the solar hanging lantern from my son’s cemetery plot at the Rock Springs Cemetery. Within two days they also stole a second one from my uncle’s.

I lost my uncle to cancer in April 2005 and then my beloved son in August the same year.  I live adjacent to the cemetery and arranged to have my son buried where I can see his memorial from my back porch.

My uncle’s plot isn’t too far from my son’s in another section of the cemetery. Over the years I’ve placed solar lanterns on a Shepard’s crook that I placed near his stone.

The light allows me to look out in the dark of night and say a prayer, reminisce or just say “goodnight”.

Last year I found the perfect solar lantern that looked like an actual flame, my son would have liked it. I ordered two and placed one on each grave.  They could easily be seen from my back yard. I secured them with wire to the metal crooks so they wouldn’t blow off.

On Wednesday December 26th, I noticed my son’s wasn’t lit up but I could see my uncle’s “flickering firelight”.  December 29th, when I went to the cemetery to check on why the lantern wasn’t working, it was gone and a check of my uncle’s plot showed someone had gone back and taken his too.

The light from the lanterns is unique and I’ve not seen them for sale anywhere in town. (Hopefully someone has noticed two not so new lanterns.)

The disturbing thing, other than someone stealing from a cemetery, is by day they don’t look like anything special, basically a rectangular black plastic box, so the thieves had to have seen them at night and specifically targeted those two lanterns.

I know this because other solar lanterns in the immediate area were still there. I should mention that the plots are in a section that cannot be seen from the street. So, it is possible that the thief lives in the vicinity where the cemetery can be observed at night.

If someone steals from a cemetery it’s likely they’ll steal from nearby yards and homes too. NEIGHBORS BE WARY!

What kind of person steals from a cemetery? Probably the same kind who would take a blind man’s cane or a homeless man’s shoes. It’s just sad.

Kimmie Diehl Rouse