No more potted plants. On Wednesday, Dawn Kahler planted mums in the ground at the grave of her father, Richard Davis, at Rome Cemetery.
"My mom had noticed that one thing was gone at one point. We didn't make a big deal out of it. The second time, there was a lantern and an angel and they disappeared," said Dawn, at her father's grave, Wednesday afternoon. Then, there was a third time.
"I went and out and got a pumpkin, I went and got a flag and came up and decorated and then my cousin less than a week later had sent me a picture what was an empty grave."
Dawn called cemetery management, thinking perhaps she'd violated some rule prohibiting certain items. But they assured her, they did not remove any items from her father's grave. The office manager said, they're vulnerable, and those phone calls from families are heartbreaking.
'We do not close the cemetery at night, primarily because people do want to visit when they get out of work," said Office Manager Malinda Abraham. "And when a family calls and they're almost in tears because they've put a figurine or a light or something on their loved one's grave, something that meant something to them and it's gone, and we didn't move it, i just, i feel so helpless."
Dawn placed a sign on her father's grave, which reads, "peek-a-goo. I see you", leaving the thief to wonder if she's already bought and placed the surveillance camera she'd been contemplating. She's filed a report with Rome Police.
"It's not even the value of the things that are being left at the site. It's the sentimental value of it," said Dawn. "I...I just...I don't understand people's....I don't know what they're getting from it. I don't."