GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 3, 2014) — A Grand Rapids family said that it is devastated after finding out that the flowers they placed at the burial site of their loved ones have been stolen. The theft happened at the Fairplains Cemetery on the northeast side.
The cemetery is one of six cemeteries owned by the City of Grand Rapids.
The Gordon family owns six plots, and said that every Memorial Day they place flowers next to their loved ones. However, for the third year in a row those flowers were swiped by thieves.
“This year, we got back to water them this past weekend and everything was gone, except the metal buckets were left, but all of the flowers were gone,” said Marc Gordon.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to the Gordon’s. The family said that their flowers were stolen at the same time last year.
Jim Arsulowicz with the City of Grand Rapids said that so far this year about a dozen complaints have been reported over stolen flowers between all six of its locations. Arsulowicz said that most theft complaints are coming from the Fairplains Cemetery.
“Maybe somebody will come by just for a trick and they think that’s funny, but it’s not to the person that’s paying their respects to their loved one,” said Arsulowicz.
Arsulowicz said that he’s contacted the Grand Rapids Police Department, requesting extra patrols in the area in an attempt to curb any future thefts.
“Our city staff will do an occasional drive around the cemetery just to make sure that people see them, that they are out and about and that they are caring for the cemetery. Just their presence will deter some activity,” said Arsulowicz.
Gordon said that the thefts won’t stop him from paying tribute to his relatives, but hopes the would-be-culprits have a change of heart.
“It’s really a message of making sure that if someone is thinking about this is an okay thing to do, or it doesn’t really hurt anybody, it really does,” said Gordon.
The City of Grand Rapids said that it encourages anyone to contact police if they witness any suspicious activity inside any cemetery.