Woman accused of stealing cemetery flowers - CBS46 News

Woman accused of stealing cemetery flowers

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Photo from CBS46 photographer Schewislzer Lewis Photo from CBS46 photographer Schewislzer Lewis

A Carroll County woman is accused of stealing flowers from cemeteries and then reselling them out of her home.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office arrested Eleanor Lynn Ashley, 55, last week.

The investigation began two months ago when deputies received a tip Ashley was selling the flowers, at bargain-basement prices, out of her home on Bowdon Junction Road. Surveillance later caught Ashley stealing half-a-dozen arrangements from West Georgia Memorial Park and the Carrollton City Cemetery.

"We treat this seriously," said Chief Deputy Brad Robinson with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.

Ricky Rayburn, youth pastor at Kansas Baptist Church, said someone stripped 15 gravesites at his church this month. Investigators have not linked the crimes to Ashley, but Rayburn said he was confident Ashley was responsible. "Our prayer is that she learns from it. We want her prosecuted, as bad as we hate it, but we still love her and are praying for her."

Robinson said, if convicted, Ashley faces jail time.

"It's a felony, not because of the value of the plant, but it's a felony because it's taken from a memorial gravesite."

Neighbors and family members told CBS46 News Ashley has been making flower arrangements for friends and family for at least 20 years. They said she did not steal anything.

Ashley is charged with six felony counts of theft by taking. She's out of the Carroll County Jail on a $30,000 bond.

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