Light-stealing ghouls hit Wilton grave site

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WILTON – Repeated thefts of solar-powered lights from two graves in Lakeview Cemetery off Route 2 have perplexed and angered an East Dixfield woman.

“Why steal from a cemetery?” asked Donna Farrington on Tuesday afternoon at the Maillet family plot.

Farrington said she understands why people steal money from banks or stores, but doesn’t condone it. “But, you don’t steal from dead people,” she added.

Last year, she and Randy Maillet placed a set of 3-foot-tall carriage-type lights beside the in-ground markers for Timothy Maillet, 44, a Temple firefighter who was killed in a motorcycle accident on May 13, 2006, and his sister, Patricia “Patsy” Maillet, 40, who died on Aug. 5, 2005. Randy is their brother.

Farrington, who is a lab receptionist at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, said she and Randy Maillet put up the lights so they could see where Tim and Patty are at night when they drive by. The lights are also comforting for the Maillets’ mother, Lorraine, of Wilton.

“Lorraine comes up here every day, so she knows what’s here in the morning. She bought special clippers just to trim around the stones,” Farrington said.

Patsy’s light was stolen first, then Tim’s over the winter. This year, she and Randy Maillet put up two more lights, but they, too, were snatched.

“I don’t think this year’s lights were out for more than a couple of weeks. They were there for Memorial Day. I think a lot of other lights in the cemetery went missing this last time. I don’t understand why somebody has to steal them. It’s not the cemetery people,” Farrington said.

So far, the East Dixfield couple has spent more than $100 on the lights, which include the latest set, but, unlike the other two sets, these are closer to the ground. They’re also engraved so that if they’re stolen, and show up somewhere, they can be identified.

Not only have the lights gone missing, but a few weeks ago, Farrington put two shot glasses, each with Timothy and Patsy Maillet’s names on them, on their stones for two friends of the Maillets, who wed on June 2. Those were taken, as was a little bottle of Crown Royal that was glued to Timothy Maillet’s stone by a friend.

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