Woman a victim of theft while visiting daughter's grave

WEBSTER, Texas (FOX 26) — Stealing from people is frowned upon, but stealing from someone who is praying at a cemetery is a new low. A woman from Dickinson had her purse stolen during her most vulnerable moment — while she was visiting her daughter’s grave.

"I never even thought for four years that I came out here to think about my car or my purse," said LaLita Dixon, who has made the trip to Forest Park East Cemetery to clean her daughter’s gravesite and change out the flowers. "When I come here I pray. I talked to Ashley, I change out her flowers and I’m actually at peace.“

Dixon has parked in the same spot for years. Her vehicle is just yards away from the cemetery plot of her daughter, Ashley Collins. Her visit to the cemetery on Dec. 11 would be different. A visit that was supposed to be for what would have been Collins' 33rd birthday, and to decorate the grave for Christmas, turned into a terrifying moment that has left Dixon feeling violated.

"I remember just saying, 'Happy birthday, baby girl' and walked off," described Dixon. "When I got to my car, everything was…it was just like, I just could not believe, at the cemetery.”

Dixon had immediately contacted police. Within a half hour, a man attempted to use her credit card several times at a Kroger store in League City. The suspect is still out there.

The car window has been replaced and the bank cards have been taken care of, but her sentimental items are gone.

"A handkerchief that was given to me the day that my daughter passed, one of the ladies at my church had made it and it was in my purse," Dixon told FOX 26 News. "The only picture I had of my dad was in my purse."

Webster police said they have never heard of a crime like this happening at Forest Park East Cemetery. LaLita may be the first victim and she said she hopes that she will also be the last.

"I just want people to be aware," added Dixon. "You see people out here changing out flowers, and I just want them to know. Even though you think that this is a place of solitude and what God abides, the devil is everywhere. Just be on the lookout even when you’re in the cemetery.“

League City and Webster police departments are handing the case. If you have any information about the case, please contact those departments.