These surveillance photos show the alleged vandal. Source: Stevenson family/Oneonta Police Facebook page
ONEONTA, AL (WBRC) -
Oneonta Police say a woman was caught on camera stealing flowers from another family's grave site.
Officers also say this is not the first time the family has had to deal with this problem.
"It's very disheartening that you try to put up a memorial for loved ones and then someone is disrespectful enough to continuously come tear it up," explained Carol Stevenson. She says senseless acts of theft and vandalism are causing her family a lot of pain.
Her daughter Sheri Mitchell drives by the grave site often to visit her brother and father who are buried at the site in the Oakhill Cemetery in Oneonta. She made another upsetting discovery Tuesday morning.
"This morning I saw the flowers were gone so I called mother and she said, they've done it again," added Mitchell.
The family says they have found the tombstone covered in black spray paint on two separate occasions, and another handful of incidents where the flowers they leave, vanish.
Mitchell and her mother have reached out the Oneonta police department for help.
"They said there's no way to stop them if we can't prove who did I," added Mitchell. She listened and installed a wild game camera just a few feet away from her family's plot.
After Tuesday morning's discovery, the family took the camera's memory card to police.
"We pulled the memory card from it and we removed the last pictures from it. We found that the theft occurred at six this morning," explained Oneonta Police Chief James Chapman.
Oneonta Police hopes to identify the person in the pictures. Meanwhile the family hopes the pictures are enough to this heartbreaking ordeal.
"I don't know why they are doing his but my mother shouldn't have to cry anymore," added Mitchell.
Oneonta's Police Chief believes this isn't a random act and the family is being targeted. Mitchell and Stevenson say they do not recognize the person in the picture.
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