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Claremore cemeteries warn families against leaving valuables after experiencing grave site theft

Posted: 6:28 PM, Sep 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-06 23:28:55Z

CLAREMORE, Okla. -- ShanTeyl Brashar visits her brothers at Woodlawn Cemetery once a month.

She tells 2 Works for You the visits used to include small gifts, but after watching everything from jewelry to toys disappear, she's given up leaving anything behind.

"Letters and flowers... I know they're just plastic flowers but they're still important. It doesn't matter the value of it. It's still sentimental and it's still wrong," Brashar said.

Staff at Woodlawn said they don't believe this is common, but they struggle to prevent theft with no cameras and 24-hour access. One employee witnessed it in the middle of the day this summer.

"The funeral was two days before. They still had fresh dirt and flowers on it from the funeral. One of our summer workers noticed a car drive through there and people got out, grabbed the flowers, and moved them to another headstone," Brandon Scuggins said.

At Oak Haven it's items like lights, expensive flower arrangements, and statues that can stolen the most.

"It kind of started around memorial day. People started to bring the pretty flowers out and things. And I've had customers that have spent a lot of money on them, they want to really honor their loved ones. Then they'll notice they're missing just a few days after they put them out," manager Randa Basler said.

The two cemeteries sit side by side, and both warn families to not leave anything of value.

"I just wish people would have a little bit of morals respect for the people that have passed and the people that still love them, because they like to come out here and see the grave looking nice," Basler said.

Oak Haven has cameras, and staff at Woodlawn says they're working with the city to get some in the months ahead.

 

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