Wicomico resident “dismayed”, cemetery theft investigation
WICOMICO CO., Md. – More than 100 vases from a Wicomico County cemetery were found at a Delaware scrap yard. As police work to investigate this crime, locals are reacting to the news that some of their loved one’s graves were at risk of being targeted.
“I was dismayed at what people would stoop to, to do something that disrespectful,” says Mary Chapman, a Parsonsburg resident who has six family members buried at Springhill Memory Gardens in Hebron.
She says she was shocked to learn that more than one hundred ornamental vases were stolen from headstones there. “When you go up to them, you just see flowers low on the ground. I mean you can tell obviously that people wouldn’t do that. They are all in vases and you can see the ones that are missing. You can tell just by looking at them that they are gone,” says Champman. “Isn’t that so disheartening? And these people might not even realize it or know it.”
Police say they’ve been investigating this case since early November. “Through the course of their investigations we were able to recover over 100 of those ornaments they were recovered at a scrapyard up in Delaware,” says Detective Sergeant Burley Williams with the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division.
Officials add the thieves were likely trying to make some quick cash, even though items like these aren’t very profitable. “So actually not gaining a lot but when you have a drug problem any little bit is valuable to them,” says Sgt. Williams.
Now, officials are trying to spread the word because this may not be an isolated incident and the thieves are still out there. “It’s possible they could be involving other cemeteries so that’s why were asking anybody who is missing one of these ornaments to contact us so we can span out our investigation if we need to,” says Sgt. Williams.
The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office believes this is a far reaching crime with as many as several hundreds victims.
Spring Hill Cemetery released the following statement: “There is an ongoing police investigation surrounding the recent thefts. We are doing everything in our power to cooperate and help the police with their investigation as well as helping our families locally through this matter.”
If you believe one of your family’s gravestones was targeted in this crime or something similar you’re asked to contact Detective Clark with the Wicomico Sheriff’s Office at 410-548-4892, ext. 229.
To see our previous coverage on this story: click here.