Flowers stolen from gravesites in west Houston

Woman says 48 white roses she left went missing

HOUSTON - A Houston woman said she is angry and frustrated after discovering that someone has been stealing flowers she left on her husband's gravesite.

Don Hood passed away one year ago and his widow, Juanita, said she used to find some comfort in visiting his grave at the Memorial Oaks Cemetery.

In January, she left behind 48 white roses to honor their 48th anniversary, but soon she discovered the flowers had vanished.

"The funeral director did offer to put a dozen white roses on the grave for me, but I told them no, because they weren't my roses," said Hood.

Sadly, this is the third time that Hood said she discovered flowers missing from her husband's grave.

Hood said the manager told her that several people have also reported flowers missing from graves. The manager said thieves take the flowers resell or to put on their own loved one's graves.

"These are people who have lost loved ones and they are trying to get along with their lives," said Hood. "I just don't understand why."

Memorial Oaks Cemetery is located at 13001 Katy Freeway and is owned by Service Corporation International. The cemetery said it does have security.

When contacted by Local 2, company spokesperson, Jessica Dunn, sent a statement:

"We are shocked and dismayed that anyone would disturb any grave. Vandalism and theft of any kind is unacceptable, but this crime is especially despicable.

We have notified our security guards to keep an extra vigilant eye out while patrolling the cemetery grounds during the day and after hours. We do take the safety and security of our park very seriously, however, cemeteries by their nature are open to the public, so it would be unrealistic to restrict all access to the property or monitor the entire property with surveillance cameras.

We encourage any family with a loved one interred at our park to contact us if they any concerns."

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