ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- A Burlington couple says they used a hidden camera to catch a woman stealing from their infant son’s grave.
The couple’s son, Rylee Mark Trollinger, is buried at Alamance Memorial Park.
“He was 3 months and 10 days old. He was born with a cleft lip and palate. He went in for surgery on that and didn't make it out,” said Rebecca Trollinger, Rylee’s mother.
Through decorations and visits, Rebecca and her husband, Robert, make sure Rylee knows he’s loved. However, they noticed some of his decorations were missing last September.
It happened again and again. The Trollingers say 31 items were stolen in all – things like holiday decorations, pinwheels and flags.
“We had absolutely enough. We decided we had to catch somebody, somehow,” said Robert.
Cemetery staff and sheriff’s deputies told them they found no evidence the items were stolen. That’s when the family decided to get their own proof with a hidden camera.
Sure enough, their camera caught a woman approaching Rylee’s grave, then leaving with a handful of his decorations over the Fourth of July weekend.
“She was identified as a Clara Long Mann, of Graham. I understand she's about 70 years old,” said Randy Jones, Alamance County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators found almost all of the stolen items at Mann’s house.
“Oh there's no doubt in our minds that there are some more cases outstanding here. We just got another report come in this morning, as a matter of fact, from the same cemetery,” said Jones.
Jones encourages other potential victims to contact the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office.
Mann was charged with misdemeanor larceny, because the decorations are only worth about $200. Her first court appearance has been scheduled in August.