3 arrested after taking flowers from Lowell graves
LOWELL, Mass. (WHDH) -- Three suspects were arrested after they removed flowers from graves at a Lowell cemetery.
They’re accused of rifling through flowers, taking what police said could have been theirs fairly if they had just waited a day.
“When the family shows up on a Sunday morning expecting to take the flowers home with them and maybe plant them in the yard as a remembrance of their family and they find someone riding around taking them off the gravestones, a little disturbing,” said Captain Kelly Richardson, Lowell Police Department.
The sign at St. Patrick’s Cemetery said “Memorial Day flowers will be removed in seven days.” It was clearly visible at the entrance, but witnesses said they saw people grabbing flowers on Sunday and called the police.
“They were very specific about what they were looking for. They put stuff back and went back and got better flowers, so forth. They were there for a while,” said Richardson.
The week-old flowers are collected and brought to a dumpster and once they are there, they’re fair game for anyone to grab.
“So they would go through the trash. Isn’t it better to save them and put them in your yard and make them last through the summer than throw them away?” said Frank Peabody, who enjoys recycling the flowers.
It’s tradition for him to claim the flowers once they are free, but he can’t believe anyone would grab them while they’re still resting on the graves.
“Absolutely terrible. I don’t know why they would do that. That’s actually stealing,” said Peabody.
Officers said the family questioned by police first said they were the rightful owners of the flowers and the graveyards, but then later admitted that they were complete strangers. The three suspects are facing larceny charges and will go in front of a judge on Tuesday.