A couple weeks back, a woman reported to Bremerton Police that a flower arrangement had been “stolen” from the graveside of a loved one at Forest Lawn Cemetery. We also received a letter recently from a Georgia family appalled to learn they’d also found their flowers left behind at the cemetery gone.
A police officer’s investigation — more like just simple observations — found that deer had likely considered the graveside memorials a colorful salad and had lunch. A bunch of the commenters on the same story remarked that indeed, deer, and even squirrels, had been culprits in their own gardens.
But I asked Andrew “Andy” Oakley, the Bremerton Police Department’s community resource officer and veteran cop, if the PD had actually been seeing such graveside thefts.
He ran the calls for service in that area to find out. Since Jan. 1, there were 15 traffic stops, one parking complaint, a suspicious vehicle at Agape, verbal dispute at Brentwood trailer park — and the one theft of flowers on March 14.
And what of Ivy Green Cemetery on 1400 Naval Avenue? Any thefts there?
Oakley reported four calls for service there: a U.S. flag on the ground, two traffic stops and one dog off leash and pooping in cemetery.
“And there you have it,” he wrote.
So it appears for now that such theft isn’t a problem. Vandalism in cemeteries, I should add, is an appalling crime, and I’m sure happens once and awhile.
It’s also hard to see what a bouquet of flowers would mean to, say, a meth head looking for his next fix. And there were no thefts reported around St. Valentine’s Day, when I suppose a desperate man might stoop to such a level to bring home some flowers for his date.
But I sure hope not.