Phenix City police work to combat graveyard thefts - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Phenix City police work to combat graveyard thefts

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PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

There were several cases of bronze vases reported stolen from Lakeview Memory Gardens Cemetery in Phenix City recently, according to an email we received in our newsroom. 

Captain Frank Ivy told News Leader 9 that while they haven't had a case in a few months, they work with the community to put a stop to thieves who take these vases and sell them to scrap metal shops. 

"We contact our local metal recyclers and make them aware they receive some products or some of these items then it's more than likely not going to [have been] acquired legitimately," Captain Ivy said. 

Ivy says the latest arrests made similar to this incident were more than 6 months ago. He says most of the metal recyclers work well with law enforcement and turn thieves in to the police. The bronze or copper vases typically sell for about $7 but cost about $50 to $100 to replace. 

Several people we spoke to at the cemetery say they have noticed several of the vases missing and did report them to the main office. Ivy says that if these suspects are caught then they could face serious consequences.
 
"It could range any place from being a misdemeanor theft to actually a felony theft where they are actually looking at some serious jail time," Captain Ivy said. 

Police say they haven't had a report on the recent incidents at Lakeview but several people we spoke to at the cemetery Tuesday did acknowledge the theft problem. We reached out to the corporate office of Lakeview Memory Gardes and are still waiting on an official response. 

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