MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Tucker woman is facing theft charges after she allegedly stole memorial items left at a Milledgeville cemetery.
The Baldwin County Sheriff's Office was first notified of the cemetery thefts at the Heritage Memorial Park six months ago. Cpt. Brad King says families were complaining the items they put on their loved ones grave sites were being stolen.
Witnesses gave deputies a vehicle description that was seen at the cemetery a number of times when the thefts happend, King said. Investigators tried to track it down, but did not have much luck.
There was a break in the case on Monday. The cemetery reported another theft and deputies were able to track down the items to a home in Tucker, a suburb of Atlanta. King says deputies arrested 69-year-old Neoma Brown and charged her with one felony count of theft by taking.
King says her home was covered with hundreds of memorial items. He says the sheriff's office is not sure if they are all stolen or if Brown purchased them. Investigators did identify the items that were stolen from the Milledgeville cemetery on Monday.
King says investigators don't know why she stole from the cemetery. He did say Brown had a relative checked in at Central State Hospital and she visited once a month. Investigators believe she stopped by the cemetery on her way home and stole the items.
King says the sheriff's office always gets calls on thefts at cemeteries. He calls it a very emotional crime for the families involved. King adds the sheriff's office is taking all the necessary steps to make sure the word gets out that cemetery thefts will not be tolerated.