Brass Stolen From Graves

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

An Omaha man is furious that thieves targeted his family's graves to make a quick buck.

The brass vases were swiped from several graves at Westlawn Cemetery, but cemetery officials are helping the heartbroken families.

Patrick Blimling's father was buried in 2002, but even eternal bliss can be marred by a heartless thief. The brass vase on Blimling's father's headstone as well as his grandparents and a few others are missing, possibly taken by someone looking to make a dollar or two from a scrap dealer.

"Utter disbelief, I couldn't believe that somebody could actually do that," said Blimling. "Somebody could actually steal something off a headstone. It's pretty disgusting in my opinion."

Blimling says when he reported the theft to the Westlawn staff they were understanding and supportive. They actually walked him through the steps of reporting the crime and will use their insurance to replace the stolen vases.

"The gentleman there told me that when they're replaced by them that he'll call me and we'll walk out together and look at them. So it was very respectful."

But the theft from his family's final resting place is something that will stay with Blimling for a while. He knows the cemetery can't be guarded around the clock, so Patrick has thought of another way to prevent more thefts. "Next time I'm just going to leave $30 in the vase and when they grab it they can take the cash instead of the vase."

To add another frustration to the situation, replacing the vases will cost about $500 a piece. Scrap price for brass currently is $1.60 per pound.

It's not the money that frustrates many of the victims, it's the fact that someone stole from a loved one's final resting place.


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