Victims Troubled By Flowers Stolen From Graves - WSET.com - ABC13

Victims Troubled by Flowers Stolen From Graves

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Amherst, VA - More victims are coming forward in a bizarre case in the town of Amherst. Police say over the last several months, an elderly woman has stolen nearly 70 flowers from graves.

Victims say they thought the flowers had blown away or were moved during landscaping. But week after week, more and more arrangements went missing. And all of it came to a head around Mother's Day.

When Phyllis Ragland got to her husband's grave, two days from the anniversary of his death, she noticed the flowers were stolen for the second time.

"I think it's terrible. I think it's terrible, really. I can't believe it," Ragland said from the Amherst Cemetery.

A group of curious residents helped solve the case. Police say last Sunday they took pictures of an elderly woman loading flower arrangements into the back of her car. Police later recovered dozens more from inside her home.

Now, 67 flower arrangements are being held as evidence. Police say a woman in her 70's, whose husband is also buried at the Amherst Cemetery, admitted to stealing them.

"I'm not sure what the motivation could have been," Chief Kelvin Brown said.

The police department is working with the Amherst Cemetery association to return them to their rightful owners, and put to rest a case that's confused them all.

"I'm just so glad that they caught whoever it is," Ragland said.

Charges have not been filed, but they're pending. The police chief says the suspect could be charged with misdemeanor theft.

Anyone who has noticed a flower arrangement has gone missing from the Amherst Cemetery should contact investigator Timothy Maberry at 434-946-7874.

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