Grieving Houston mother faces identity theft, financial fraud following cemetery theft

Gabriella Mackin is now battling both identity theft and financial fraud as a result of a robbery that occurred during a visit to her daughter's grave. Yet, the theft of her personal items is merely an introduction to her issues.

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FOX 26 spoke with the grieving mother, who expressed her hopes in the aftermath of this unfortunate event. Mackin said her purse was stolen from her car and while she would like to have her purse and all her personal belongings, there is one that she desperately wants back: her daughter's license. 

"That’s all I have is the mementos because I do not have her anymore," Mackin said.

Mackin visits the Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery regularly to honor Alessandra Mackin, her late daughter who passed away due to leukemia. 

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Mackin shared that her daughter's mementos hold a special place in her heart, as that's all that remains. Never did she imagine that a cemetery, a revered place of quiet and respect, would become a scene of theft.

"I didn’t think anything of it because the cemetery should be a safe place. It didn’t occur to me ever that there’d be a problem here," Mackin said.

The thief went to a Walgreen store and tried making a purchase of about $500 in gift cards, according to Mackin.

Post-theft, Mackin received a flurry of calls from various banks inquiring about her identity on attempted withdrawals. Having stolen her purse and ID, the thief made attempts to set up new accounts and withdraw money. Though Mackin managed to secure her cards using mobile apps, the thief's destructive actions linger on.

"That’s just the lowest to steal from a grieving person. That’s just unbelievable, and then to continue doing it," mourned Mackin.

Mackin conveys that she finds solace in the thoughts of her late daughter Alessandra.

"[She would tell me] to be strong and that she’s okay, and she’s doing fine. I don’t need to worry about her, just worry about me and the rest of us," Mackin said.