CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County Police Department (CCPD) said 50 bronze vases were stolen from graves in Chester.
The department said that the theft occurred on the nights of Aug. 10 and 11 at Sunset Memorial Park on W. Hundred Road.
The general manager of Sunset Memorial Park told 8News that this is the second time vases have been stolen from the cemetery, which is located directly across from the Chesterfield County Police Department’s Chester Station.
Anyone with information about these thefts is asked to contact Chesterfield County Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660 or http://p3tips.com/699.
Local residents David and Pam Call were on their way to visit their son’s grave on what would’ve been his 33rd birthday when they heard the news that vases had been stolen from the cemetery.
“I read that people were stealing vases and then I read that it was Sunset Memorial Park, and I was like, ‘That’s where my son’s buried and we’re going there today. I’m hoping his vase is there,'” Pam said. “I was glad to see when I got here that the vase was here. I just can’t imagine people getting that desperate to take something off of someone’s grave like that.”
The Calls’ son died when he was 4 years old. They said he had a brain tumor that suddenly took his life.
“When he first passed away, I came here everyday,” David said. “Coming here is still very important to us and it means a lot. It’s probably one of the reasons why we still live in this area.”
The Calls were cleaning off their son’s grave as they spoke with 8News. They brought flowers to put in the vase, as David cut the grass around the slab of granite and Pam put stakes in the ground that read “33” and “Happy Birthday.”
“It’s a small, local cemetery. It’s been here a long, long time, and it’s been well-maintained over the years,” David said. “We’re glad that our family members are here.”
The Calls have several family members buried at Sunset Memorial Park, including David’s grandparents and Pam’s parents. None of those grave stones were disturbed by the suspect or suspects who stolen the bronze vases last week.
“This is all people have to come to put their flowers or little mementos, little trinkets and things on the grave,” Pam said. “It’s a little, special place for them, and then for someone to come and vandalize or steal something is just kind of sad.”
The investigation into the stolen vases is ongoing.
The general manager at Sunset Memorial Park told 8News that this crime would be considered grave robbery, which, according to the Code of Virginia, is a Class 1 misdemeanor.