Bethalto Police call cemetery thieves ‘despicable’ and promise they’ll be caught


BETHALTO, Ill. – Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto is a peaceful place where visitors can reflect on the memories of their loved ones. Tracy Marcias visited the cemetery Wednesday to make sure a flower display for her friend was still intact. She was disturbed to discover dozens of copper vases used to hold flowers left for loved ones had been stolen.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “Obviously, they never lost anybody or cared about anybody they lost.”

The cemetery owner made the discovery Monday. Approximately 80 vases were taken from an area known as the Island of Memories Columbarium.

“We found a lot of flowers all sitting here on the ground which normally we would not have,” said Rose Lawn Memory Gardens owner Tim Kallal.

Joe Pruitt has visited the cemetery many times. His grandmother is buried there. He owns Pruitt Mechanical Services and was so disturbed over the crime he is donating $4,000 to help replace the vases.

“I just think that it was important for somebody to step up and do something,” said Pruitt.

Bethalto Police are investigating and through a social media post declared, “Despicable offender(s) sought in Bethalto theft investigation.”

The post went on to read, “As for the suspect(s), who I’m sure will see this post, I want you to know that our officers will identify and apprehend you, and our State’s Attorney’s Office will ensure you are relocated to the state ran facility for which you belong. You would serve yourself well by turning yourself in and showing the courts that you have some small amount of remorse and decency. I’ll be waiting for your call, and or will be here to welcome you into our facility when you are arrested.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bethalto police department by sending a message through Facebook or by calling the department at 618-377-5266.

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