ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s meant to be a place of prayer, peace and respect, but what two people appear to be doing recently at the Sunset Memorial Garden cemetery in Albuquerque cemetery is appalling. Recently captured cell phone video from a cemetery visitor shows people with items that he said were removed from the Garden of Angels section where babies and toddlers are buried.
“It hits you on a different level sometimes then if they just took a flower arrangement off someone’s grave out here,” said Christopher Keller, Vice President of French Funerals & Cremations. “They’re going after the kids now, and that’s not right.”
Keller says they usually see a spike in item thefts from grave sites after major holidays and add it’s almost impossible to monitor 40 acres, 24 hours a day. That’s even with a caretaker that the cemetery has living on site. Without many resources to look out for criminal activity, Keller said if visitors see something suspicious to please report it to their office right away.
“Nor can I have roaming security or cameras or anything else,” added Keller. “All those things, they are great suggestions and families make them to us all the time and I wish I had the means, monetarily or logistically to do that, but the reality is that we can’t.”
As nice as it is to leave a memento behind for a loved one, especially a treasured toy for a child, Keller says they recommend leaving something without an emotional attachment.
“It’s not so much the cost to people,” said Keller. “It’s the pain that it causes and we just recommend that people be careful about what they put on there because ultimately it’s in the open.”