We have periodically discussed crimes involving grave robbing and how to punish such heinous acts. The latest such case is out of New Jersey where flowers were being taken from the First Reformed Church Cemetery in Pompton Plains and authorities decided to set up a surveillance camera. Police say that the camera captured Lynda Wingate, 59, in the act. She turns out to be a former police dispatcher and the owner of a floral shop.
Police say that Wingate may have been stealing flowers for months before they set up the camera. flower
Wingate reportedly claimed that she was cleaned up old flowers from graves of people she knew but police say that is untrue.
She now faces a charge of theft of moveable property.
What do you think should be the punishment for this crime? The public identification alone carries considerable stigma, though it is interesting that police in the prior Christmas wreath thefts from the Sunshine Farm in Massachusetts kept the identity of the thief out of the public. If found guilty, do you think that jail time is appropriate given the trauma for family in having flowers removed from a grave or simply community service?