Rochester family hopes to send warning after smash and grab at local cemetery

Raven Brown
Created: February 24, 2020 06:20 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A Rochester family is hoping to send a warning to others after their car window was smashed and personal belongings stolen at a local cemetery.

The victim is still shaken up that this happened to her visiting her loved ones. News10NBC spoke with her daughter, who's hoping to send a message to others to be on the lookout. 


Loni Moreno said her mom visits Holy Sepulchre Cemetery often to see her two sisters who are buried there.

“Grieving, paying respects to her loved ones,” Moreno said. 

While visiting she noticed a man who had parked close to her. 

“He was walking down the same walkway holding a fresh bouquet of flowers which she thought was odd in the middle of winter,” Moreno said.

She then headed toward the mausoleum and said as she was walking toward the doors she saw the same guy with the same flowers and she wonders if there was something hidden inside them.

“She went into the building and she came back out and her car window was smashed, her purse was stolen,” Moreno said. 

Everything from her ID’s to her money was gone in broad daylight. 

“I also want everybody to know that comes here because this is where our loved ones are and this is where they come often to be more aware that it can happen at a cemetery,” Moreno said. 

Moreno said she hopes to see higher and more enhanced security within the buildings.

“I was shocked to be honest,” cemetery CEO John Caufield said.

Caufield said he believes the last known theft at the cemetery was more than a year ago. 

“This is a sacred place people come to visit their loved ones, family members and so on and so forth we want it to be certainly a safe environment but a peaceful, reflective environment where people can come and connect with their own feelings,” Caufield said. 

He said they have patrols on the grounds and inside the buildings at certain times, but says safety is a top priority and they are working with the police to review video and security in place. 

Rochester Police say at this time there have been no arrests made, but send a reminder to not leave valuable items like packages or a purse visible within a vehicle, and to lock it in a trunk if possible, or take it with you.

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