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December 18, 2012

Grave site thefts not uncommon as holiday nears

MILLEDGEVILLE — It's something that most people could never even think of doing: stealing grave flowers or decorations just to make a small profit during the holiday season. Unfortunately, it's not that unusual for those beloved decorations and memorials to be stolen and sold for cash as the holiday nears.

On Saturday Dec. 15, Sheriff Bill Massee received a phone call from friend and Baldwin County resident Faye Humphrey about a crime that seemed too surreal to imagine.    

A bewildered Humphrey discovered that the handmade arrangement she prepared for her husband's grave at Baldwin Estates Cemetery had been stolen. She was so distraught by the occurrence that her son-in-law had to make the call to family friend Sheriff Massee.

According to Massee, it is an unwelcome occurrence to hear of such things, especially around the holiday season. In most cases, the stolen items are taken to local flea markets or pawn shops where criminals know that it's unlikely that family members will be able to identify the arrangements, but for a close-knit town such as Milledgeville, this proves to be a harder task.

In an effort to prevent further thefts as the holiday nears, Massee has informed his deputies of the recent crime and urges them to go to the cemeteries as often as possible to check things out.

He also advises people to wait until the actual date of the holiday before decorating grave sites.

New information as to who could be responsible for the Humphrey theft was not available as of press time Monday, but Massee encourages anyone who has information to call the Sheriff's Office at (478) 445-4891.

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