ENID, Okla. – Enid Police are investigating several cases of cemetery theft and vandalism at the Enid Cemetery.
It has happened to many Enid families who are fed up.
Cemetery employees are beside themselves trying to prevent crime for these families.
They think the best way to prevent these crimes is for potential thieves and vandals to see how the crimes are tearing families to pieces.
What’s supposed to be a place of peace and a part of the grieving process, has turned into more heart break for some.
Friend of grieving mother, Jillian Curtis, says, “This is someone’s place to come and sit with their loved one. They lost them. They aren’t here anymore.”
Flowers, family keepsakes, even headstones all stolen right off of graves.
One man noticed the theft during a Mother’s Day visit to pay his respects to his mother and grandmother.
In the six months since her grieving friend buried her 20-year-old son, Jillian Curtis has lost count of how many times his grave has been cleared.
“They keep taking and taking and taking. She’s replaced and replaced and replaced,” says Curtis. “It’s heartbreaking. That’s her baby. She sets stuff out here for her baby.”
The Cemetery Superintendent, Tammy Warnecker, can relate.
“I hadn’t had my son buried 3 days and someone drove up and cleaned his grave off,” says Warnecker. “So I know what that feeling is.”
She’s doing everything she can to deter the crime, but with a low budget it’s hard to afford the high level security she needs for so many acres.
“This is open 24/7 so there’s no way that we can control people coming in and out. It could have happened at any given time,” says Warnecker. “It’s a public place so it’s very easy. It can be done.”
Although it is an easy target, Curtis says it’s heartbreaking to know a cemetery is even considered a target.
“You don’t think ‘well I can’t put this out there because somebody’s going to steal it,’” says Curtis. “You think ‘I’m going to put this out here because it was his favorite.’ It makes you sick.”
The only motive for cemetery theft that anyone we talked to today could think of was just the thrill of being in a cemetery.
Enid Police are involved and urge you to give them a call at (580) 242-7000 if you have any information that could lead to an arrest.