OCALA, Fla. – Approximately 50 bronze flower vases were stolen from Faith Memorial Cemetery sometime this week, according to the Ocala Police Department.
The owner reported the thefts Thursday morning. He told police the vases, valued at $200 each, were located on headstones throughout the cemetery.
The total value is estimated to be $10,000, although officials are still trying to get an exact count on how many vases were stolen.
Owner O'Donald Clark said he realized Faith Memorial Cemetery had been robbed when a family member said the flower vase had been taken off the grave she had come to visit.
"This individual, I have no words to describe this individual. To me, it's unfathomable that you could actually do this," Clark said.
He called the crime disturbing and said families are distressed by the thefts.
"To see some of these people, families that have their loved ones buried here, to come out here and see how distressed they are when they discover that their cups have been removed," Clark said.
He is now pleading for the vases to be returned.
"Please, if you can leave them someplace, that would be the beginning. That would be a start. Make an anonymous call, let us know where we can find them so we can replace them," Clark said.
Police have contacted local business that accept scrap metal to be on alert in case someone brings in the vases.
"Perhaps someone will see this and they'll make a call and say, 'This is where the stuff is, you can come and pick it up,'" Clark said.
In the meantime, Clark said he's looking into ways to beef up security, possibly installing a security camera or a gate at the front entrance.
Anyone who has information about the stolen vases is asked to call the Ocala Police Department.
No suspects have been identified.