On the Fourth of July, while most people were celebrating their freedom with their families, someone was out stealing from the dead.
Eighteen brass vases were stolen from Zion Baptist Cemetery located on Ga. Highway 212.
The vases were placed on the headstones so that families could leave flowers in remembrance of their loved ones.
"I believe the perpetrator believed the vases were made of copper instead of brass," Harold Musgrove, the chairman of the cemetery said.
According to Oconee Metal Recycling, copper is valued at $2.95 per pound where brass is only valued at $1.60 per pound.
"We have had some missing flowers before and maybe a vase or two, but never anything of this magnitude," Musgrove said.
Musgrove believes the suspects came in a car and made two or more trips to get the vases.
"They are easy to steal," Musgrove said. "It is only a matter of twisting them off the headstone and would only take a minute or so."
According to the Newton County Sheriffs report, vases from 18 families were stolen.
"It was probably some thug who needed money for drugs and had to stoop as low as stealing from dead people," said Norman McCullough whose wife's vase was stolen from her grave.
According to www.thompsonmonuments.com a new vase ranges from $150 to $300.
"It is just known that you don't steal from God's holy ground," Musgrove said. "Things like this will eventually come around on them and God will handle the situation."
Unable to provide around the clock surveillance for the cemetery, Musgrove said they will have to rely on the police to help patrol the cemetery.
"We are trying to cut down on the flow of traffic through the cemetery by putting up a gate, but if a thief wants something, they are going to find a way to get it," Musgrove added.
Currently no arrests have been made at this time.
The NCSO is asking that if anyone has any information about the crime they notify them immediately at 678-625-1401 or e-mail them at www.newtonsheriffga.org and clicking on "anonymous tip line."