MANITOWOC - Geranium petals are all that remain from a flower basket Randi Heyduk hung near his late wife's grave at Evergreen Cemetery in Manitowoc.
"It's one of the things we can do, is keeping her memory alive by putting fresh flowers on her grave," said Heyduk of Manitowoc.
But Tuesday morning,
"When I came up to the cemetery, I saw a guy just standing by the grave," said Heyduk.
Heyduk says he saw someone take those flowers.
"I drove around the cemetery and parked a little ways over there, and I watched him snip the zip ties that I have on that shepherd's hook, and he threw it in the back of his truck," said Heyduk.
Heyduk says he called police and began to follow the man.
"He took off like a jackrabbit. And I was not going to put anybody else in danger over a flower, I already had his license plate number, he is going to get caught," said Keyduk.
"With the information we received from the witness, it was just a matter of trying to get a hold of the suspect, and we were trying to hopefully get the flowers back for the victim, but unfortunately that has not happened yet," said Capt. Larry Zimney, Manitowoc Police Department.
Police say it's a crime of opportunity.
"It's not a common thing, but it can happen. When people leave things out there that others think they want or need, and there's really nobody out there watching most of the time," said Capt. Zimney.
Heyduk says he will replace the flowers. He and his daughter are still upset.
"How can you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning? How can you look at that flower everyday, and say 'I got that from a cemetery?'" said Heyduk.
"It's just sick to think that someone would actually do that to someone, it's heartless," said Kaitie Heyduk, Manitowoc.
FOX 11 checked several other large cemeteries in the area. Officials tell us they have had no reports of similar thefts so far this year.
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