'Dear Thief': Mother delivers a message to grave site robber - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

'Dear Thief': Grieving mother delivers a message to grave site robber

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Jennifer Laird held back tears Wednesday afternoon while gazing at her daughter's grave.

Twice during the past two weeks, items were stolen from her daughter's grave site at Resthaven Memorial Park in Lubbock. Everything she placed on the grave in honor of her baby - Teslynn Laird, who died seven years ago - disappeared.

"It was her birthday on September 26th and I put flowers, a little tutu and some balloons there, but the next time I came here they were gone," Laird said. "To drive up and see nothing at all on your daughters grave that's what hurts. It's not about the money - it's the sentimental value. You're not just stealing flowers or a tutu off a grave, you are stealing memories."

No other graves seemed to be disturbed, but Resthaven says they take this incident very seriously.

"This is something we deal with because we are an open property. However, this happening even to one family is one too many," Resthaven General Manager Cary Grossi said.

"I guess I didn't realize I could feel that much pain over some flowers and a tutu and a balloon," Laird said.

Grossi says this is not the first time they have had to deal with a theft situation on their property. "I would say it's a minimal problem, but in the past we did have several bronze vases stolen," Grossi said. "We believe they took them to metal scrap yards where they were sold for money."

Resthaven says they could get security but they feel it would be unrealistic. "Even if we get security, Resthaven is 90 acres it would almost be almost impossible to patrol thousands of grave sites 24 hours a day, effectively," Grossi explained. 

The Lubbock Police Department says its illegal to steal from a grave site and considered a state jail felony.

"I'm not sure there is a solution to it, other than the dignity of mankind," Grossi said.

Not content to hope for the best, Laird has replaced the stolen items along with a new one and a handwritten message:

"Dear Thief,

I've replaced my angel's tutu & made one for you too! Please understand your actions HURT! I will continue showing my love for my little girl & provide one for you. So PLEASE stop stealing from me and my child!

Thanks!"

LPD says if the thief is caught they could face up to 2 years in prison.

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11

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