ACTON (CBS) – Alison Takacs has spent a lot of time personalizing her husband’s grave, from the Red Sox symbol and the purple flowers symbolizing pancreatic cancer awareness, to a little statue of their beloved family dog.

But when Alison and her daughter visited the Acton cemetery on Tuesday, something was missing.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports

Someone had stolen the dog statue that sat next to the grave.

It’s one of many items that are virtually worthless to anyone other than the families who put them there. Yet, someone is stealing them.

“It’s hard enough to come here and bring birthday present to your dad at the cemetery,” Takacs said. “But to come here and find they have been taken. Really?”

Cemetery officials say they’ve already had four complaints this year.

They say there is not much they can do. But they have asked police to step up patrols in the area.

Alison plans to replace the inexpensive dog.

But hopes to put a stop to a string of heartless crimes in the one place she considers sacred.

I can’t even wrap my brain around walking up to grave and walking away with an item that’s been placed there,” she said. “I can’t grasp that.”

Comments (6)
  1. jaygee says:

    Nobody has the right to take anything from any grave, period. Having said that, some cemetaries & some of the graves within have the appearance of a Walmart toy section. Just because a loved one has died, their grave should not be cheapened by balloons, raggedy stuffed animals and old and worn artificial flowers. Why can’t flowers do the trick at certain times of the year?

  2. 8minus1 says:

    @Jaygee….If you had experienced the loss of a child, you would understand. It is very different and many times surviving family find a small measure of comfort in these items. It is not cheapened…it is a gift that cannot be given.

  3. Kathleen Perna says:

    “doing the trick” really Jaygee!? When someone you love dies I hope you will understand. A loving wife and her children left a symbolic dog statue on their loved ones grave. The statue was Not to “do the trick” but It represented a happy thing in their life that they shared before he passed away. Grow a sympathetic bone in your body!

  4. Alison says:

    Thank you, Kathleen & 8minus1 for your support! As for jaygee — I am happy to say that our beautiful cemetery does not even come close to a Walmart toy section, even though there are several displays of love and memories at many of the graves. There is actually a balloon right next to my husband’s grave and I can only imagine how hard it was for that person to visit their mother IN THE CEMETERY on Mother’s Day. I am most surprised that you felt the need to leave a negative comment on a story like this. If ever there was a time to practice “if you can’t say something nice . . . ,” this was it.

  5. any & every token of love from a family to a loved one who has passed is ‘appropriate’. the takacs ladies are the strongest three women i’ve had the privilege to know… two of whom happen to be pre-teens.

    jaygee, you should consider yourself lucky to have never felt the deep need to leave a ‘raggedy’ treasure at the burial place of someone taken from you far too soon.

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