LaFollette family's cemetery plot target of a grave robber

LaFollette family's cemetery plot target of a grave robber

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The family takes what little comfort they can find in placing floral arrangements on his grave. The family takes what little comfort they can find in placing floral arrangements on his grave.
In the images there were three women, but only one was caught red handed, carrying off one of the birds perched atop Stanley Lester Jr.'s grave. In the images there were three women, but only one was caught red handed, carrying off one of the birds perched atop Stanley Lester Jr.'s grave.
"I make them with love because he's my little brother," explained Cindy Riggs, choking back tears as she looks at the flower arraignments she spends hours working on. "It's just hard when I come out here and they're gone or destroyed." "I make them with love because he's my little brother," explained Cindy Riggs, choking back tears as she looks at the flower arraignments she spends hours working on. "It's just hard when I come out here and they're gone or destroyed."

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

LAFOLLETTE  (WATE) – For more than a year, a Campbell County family says their son's final resting place has  been the target of a grave robber.

The sound of the wind chimes is a welcome one for the Lester's as they make their daily visit to their son's grave.

Too often they reach the grave to find it's been robbed of the chimes and other decorations.

"We have replaced everything we've put on here and it hurts," said Norma Lester.

Norma and Stan Lester buried their 53-year-old son Stanley Jr. a year ago. He died of a heart attack.

The family takes what little comfort they can find in placing floral arrangements on his grave.

"I make them with love because he's my little brother," explained Cindy Riggs, choking back tears as she looks at the flower arraignments she spends hours working on. "It's just hard when I come out here and they're gone or destroyed."

The first time they noticed something was amiss was a week or so after the funeral, when they noticed the lights atop the grave were missing.

"I made a vow; he would never lay here without a light," said Norma Lester.

Everything from those lights to the flowers to the birds have been stolen. Fed up, the family finally took action on their own.

"We put cameras in the cemetery to catch them," Lester said.

Even sheriff's deputies were surprised that the flowers and trinkets, many of little monetary value, seemed to be the desired loot of a grave robber in Campbell County.

"It's not the price, it's the idea of somebody taking something that doesn't belong to them," Lester said.

But the multiple cameras placed around the plot helped catch the grave robber in action.

In the images there were three women, but only one was caught red handed, carrying off one of the birds perched atop Stanley Lester Jr.'s grave.

Greta Cooper, 59, was arrested on several counts of criminal trespassing, theft, and desecration of a venerated object. 

But according to the arrest report, Cooper told police she stole the items to place on the graves of "her family members that didn't have decorations."

But the Lester's say that doesn't make it ok.

"If she needs them, she can come and ask me for them, I'd gladly buy her some flowers if she'll just leave his alone," Lester said.

Because for Stan and Norma, their daily visits with their son are all they have -- that and the promise to keep the lights on.

"He was an outdoorsman," Norma Lester recalled. "He would always carry a flashlight and I just wanted him to have the light he always had."

Greta Cooper said she had no comment on Thursday night. The Lester's say since her arrest, no items have gone missing from their cemetery plot.

 

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