Patrols, publicity cut down Candia cemetery thefts
CANDIA — Investigators credit a helpful donation, added patrols and effective publicity for ending a recent string of graveside thefts at Holbrook Cemetery.
Candia Police Chief Mike McGillen said his department hasn’t received a complaint since several families went to visit the graves of loved ones the last weekend of June and first weekend of July and found thousands of dollars worth of flowers, pots, luminaries and other costly items missing.
Gary York said he visited his mother’s grave less than a month after her burial to find plants missing. At the July 14 Candia Board of Selectmen meeting, he and several other impacted friends and family donated surveillance equiptment to the police department in hopes of detouring and/or catching the thieves.
According to McGillen, the plan worked, at least in terms of putting an end to the ongoing grief of those affected.
“We haven’t had any instances since the Fourth of July weekend,” he said. “I feel word got out and deterred this individual(s) from doing it again.”
In addition to the surveillance cameras, McGillen said his department added additional patrols through the cemetery and have been taking note of and accounting for all vehicles entering and exiting the two entrances.
“I think it’s possible whoever was doing this may have even been taking the items for their own property or landscaping project,” he added. “Who knows, they may have even been selling it at a flea market or something like that.”
Regardless of the reasoning behind it, McGillen said he and the affected families are all relieved that the thefts seem to have ended, though there is still an ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information on the thefts is urged to call Candia police at 483-2318.