Sacred Treasures Taken From Raleigh Gravesites
Posted October 10, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — To some people, nothing is sacred, not even a cemetery. Unfortunately, thefts at these sacred places are happening more often. Some people are rallying to try and bring some peace to the final resting place of their loved ones.
Bobbie Alford's brother passed away in March. Since then, four angels have been stolen from graves at Montlawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park.
"Something needs to be done. I shouldn't have to worry about this," she says. "It really hurts. It really does to know someone would take stuff from a grave."
Shelia Weathersbee says she thinks the thefts are not isolated cases.
"There are a lot of people out here being hurt by this, and somebody needs to stand up and stop it," she says.
Weathersbee is determined to do something about the thefts. She has given a petition with more than 100 names to David Brown, the cemetery's general manager, asking for gates to be reinstalled at all the entrances. They were taken down about four years ago.
"I don't think they're walking in here and taking these heavy statues out through the woods," she says. "I think they're driving in, seeing what they want, and they're coming back later and picking them up."
One statue picked up was a bronze angel which stood by the grave of Weathersbee's daughter since the day she was buried.
"Not only had I lost my angel 13 years ago, I lost the only angel I had as a remembrance," she says.
Weathersbee took an extra measure to make sure the angel would not be stolen again. She chained it to the headstone.
"It's pathetic. It's absolutely pathetic when you have to chain your angel to the headstone because of thefts," she says. "There's so sense in it, and it shouldn't be happening."
Brown says he is letting the police handle the case. He also says he has not ruled out putting up gates. Police have staked out the area for several nights, but they do not have any leads.