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Burial thefts ‘just like the day they died’ / March 24, 2014
The recent theft of brass vases from grave sites at Memorial Gardens has left at least one local resident very upset.

Dale Snead said she was dismayed after reading about the thefts on Thursday and ventured out that same day to the Centerville cemetery where her grandparents are buried. When she arrived, she found the brass vases on their graves were gone.

She said the thefts were devastating: “It just seemed like the day they died. They raised me and I depended on them. I’m the only immediate family member left.”

Snead’s grandmother, the late Bertha Thomas Horton, was buried in Memorial Gardens in 1977. Her grandfather, the late Tebe Cleveland Horton, was laid to rest there in 1988. “Those vases have been there ever since,” she said.

Snead said a cousin of hers visited the cemetery on March 15. He recalled that the vases were in place at that time, although Snead added he was not 100 percent sure.

During her visit Thursday to Memorial Gardens, she found the vase placed at the grave of her mother, the late Odessa Horton Snead Sink, still there. The same was true for the grave site of her uncle, Tebe Cleveland Horton, Jr.

“I called 911 and a South Boston Police officer met me there at the cemetery, and I took the vase from my mother’s grave and put it in my car to carry home with me. I told the officer I was not leaving that there to be stolen.

“I’m praying that whoever did this will be put under the jail — not in it,” Snead said.

Police say the thefts of the brass and bronze vases appears to be tied to similar disappearances of urns at grave sites in South Hill, Chesapeake, Prince George and Norfolk. In South Hill, 131 vases were stolen earlier this month at the Crestview Memorial Park.

South Boston Police reported that nearly 100 brass vases are missing at Memorial Gardens.

Anyone who may have information about the missing vases please contact Detective Randy Redd at (434) 575-7273 or the Halifax Crime Line at (434) 476-8445.

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