Graham woman caught on hidden camera stealing from infant’s grave

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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.


    • Susan

      My sympathy goes out to this family. My sister and I witnessed a man going in and out of an historic cemetery stealing flowers. We tried to get his license number, but when he knew we were onto him, he backed out and sped off.

  • justin bieltz

    Just larceny? I know the value of the stuff is less then 200, she’s stealing from a dead baby’s grave….. wow that’s pathetic

  • Mona Stull

    We have had the same thing happen. Bad enough to steal but to steal from the dead is reprehensible. There is a special place in Hell for these people.

  • beth mcallister

    To the family, first of all I am so sorry about the death of your baby! I am also sorry for this unimaginable story that you have lived through as your sweet little one’s grave was stolen from. Please know that I will pray for your family as this case moves forward. May God wrap his loving arms around you.

  • Debbie Tucer

    How low can you be. I have had flowers stolen from my parents grave in Sanford, that made me very angry. But a baby!!!

  • Angie King

    I am so glad she was caught. I know that gives you a little peace of mind. I am so sorry for your loss. May God Bless you both.

    • Mona Stull

      Valerie-you can get a deer/trail cam at Cabela for under $300. They are weather proof and take photos day and night. They can be set to infrared so that there is no flash and there is a burst mode to take 3-6 photos in concession.

  • Stacey

    “Cemetery staff and sheriff’s deputies told them they found no evidence the items were stolen. ” What?!?! The fact they were missing was not evidence enough?

    • Mona Stull

      Kim-I am so sorry for the pain you endured losing your mom-mine passed in May of this year. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and it hurts every day. People have also stole from hers, my uncle’s and my sister’s graves and it is such a violation. My thoughts are with you Kim!

  • CFT

    Very sad for both families as people who usually steal from graves are suffering from loss and depression of their own. Assuming that this was done to cause pain is probably easy but also probably not the case. This is a coping strategy, although wrong, that some individuals who have lost loved ones use. Sorry for both families but lets not makes things worse by assuming! Let’s make sure both families receive the help they need.

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