The following opinion piece was written and submitted by Kimmie Diehl Rouse.
I wrote a letter to the editor and posted a letter on Sweetwater Now on December 31, 2018, about the theft of two solar lanterns that were stolen from my son’s and my uncle’s cemetery plots in the Rock Springs Municipal Cemetery. The grave sites are in separate sections of the cemetery and both are visible from my back yard.
After waiting and a period of depression, disgust and disappointment I purchased new lanterns. This time instead of wiring them to the steel shepherd crooks I bolted them on so the wires couldn’t be snipped or untwisted again.
I’m now writing because sometime between June 4th and June 5th the lanterns AND the shepherds crooks were again stolen. Both were taken from the same two graves sites. I’m sure the lanterns couldn’t be removed easily enough so the entire crooks were wrenched from the ground. One is heavy black steel and about 4-foot-tall, the other is also black steel and about 2 foot high.
I’ve included a description and excerpt * from my last letter in hope that someone carrying two black steel crooks with lanterns attached might have been seen. The police have been notified, however I’m sure they have more important cases to attend to. If you’ve seen anything or if the crooks and lanterns have come home with your children PLEASE do the right thing and let the RSPD know.
And to the thief, I suspect you are the same person who stole the last lanterns. Surely you have enough to keep you entertained without stealing any more and the crooks to hang them on 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!
Is there anything more despicable than stealing from a cemetery? It’s still just sad.