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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - A woman has discovered thieves paid a visit to her parents' graves. Built up by brush and on the side of a cemetery, one woman believes her parents' final resting place inside a mausoleum made for an easy target for thieves.
A cemetery is supposed to be a place to reflect, remember, and find peace. But over the weekend, Gail Owens and her husband found disappointment and anger when visiting her parents' burial chambers near Preston Highway. "When we got there we realized the vase was gone. And looking around my husband's like, this one's missing too, so is this one, so is this one," she said.
They called Evergreen Cemetery to report the missing flower vases. "I was happy that they were going to replace it. But my concern is how many people have loved ones that are there that have lost those vases and don't know it," Owens explained.
Gail can only assume the vases have been taken to a scrap yard. "We just don't buy it. It's that plain and simple, we just don't buy it," said Jim Wiseman with ISA Recycling.
He says ISA Recycling and many other reputable scrapyards would never buy a grave marker or vase -- and not just because it is the law in Kentucky. "We don't want to buy that stuff. It only brings us problems," said Wiseman.
In Kentucky, manhole covers, guardrails, storm drain covers, copper coils from AC units, and funeral markers or vases are restricted metals that scrapyards can't take--but that law is not in place in Indiana.
Plus, Wiseman says thieves can always cash in at a less reputable scrapyard in Kentucky that is willing to take the risk. "That type of material would go for about $1.90 a pound," said Wiseman.
If a vase weighs around four pounds, that would amount to nearly $8 a vase--a cheap price for causing heartache. "Disrespectful. It's just disrespectful, stealing from a gravesite. It's just wrong," said Owens.
A spokesperson for Evergreen says maintenance crews are checking around, and missing vases will be handled on a case-by-case basis.