In today’s capitalistic society, great value is put on wealth and material possessions. As a result, it’s not surprising that things like theft and robberies occur; people are hungry for just a little bit extra and exhausted trying to keep up with the Joneses.
While this all understandable on a rational level, once in a while you hear a story that makes you question humanity as a whole, wondering how somebody could be so heartless and cruel. And this is definitely one of those cases.
The story takes place in New London, Ohio, a small township with a population of 2,300. In the month of June 2017, residents began noticing some strange happenings— most notably, things going missing from the local cemetery.
Items like flowers— complete with their pots— were disappearing. Personal things, like figurines and mementos, just vanishing without a trace. Even things that had been weighted down with rocks and bricks appeared to be getting stolen, mysteriously gone from where they had been left.
New London Police Chief Mike Marko tells Fox 8, “Somebody buries their loved one and they go out to the cemetery and they put something down and they expect it to be there. And when somebody removes that, it’s theft. It’s personal.”
Although the dollar amount attached to the items stolen from the graves was small, the sentimental value attached to them is immeasurable.
One anonymous victim describes her loss to Fox 8, explaining, “I gave that flower pot to my father for Father’s Day in 1977. It has no price that they can give me to replace that pot.”
New London residents were shocked and disgusted.
What kind of heartless person could be stealing from the graves of their deceased loved ones?
To find out who was behind the thefts, the local police department examined the cemetery’s security cameras— and were shocked by what they saw.
The surveillance footage shows two women pulling up to the cemetery in a dark-colored car. Immediately, the women begin scanning the graves, picking up the residents’ beloved treasures and gifts to their loved ones, loading the car with their loot.
The worst part? One of the women, Donna Riley is reported to be a fiscal officer for a nearby township.
Marko tells Fox 8, “It’s a position of trust, no different than being a police officer. We are held to a higher standard and when something like this happens, we are going to pay the price for it.”
Although the accused were initially cooperative, they have since pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor theft charges, and a trial has been scheduled for November 8th, 2017.
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