The woman who was caught on camera stealing an angel statue from a Middletown, Connecticut, grave site over the weekend has turned herself in, police say.
The woman's friends saw her photo in a news report and urged her to confess, according to police. She showed up at police headquarters Tuesday evening and turned over the statue, which depicts an angel holding a puppy.
According to Middletown police Capt. Gary Wallace, the woman was driving through Calvary Cemetery on Bow Lane thinking about her own ailing loved ones on Saturday when she spotted the grave site and pulled over.
"She had an ill friend and another family member that wasn't doing well, and then decided when she saw the statue... that it just reminded her of her ill family," said Wallace. "And when she saw the statue, she just decided to take it."
The statue is now at the police department and will soon be returned to its rightful place alongside the headstone of 19-year-old Brandon Reeve, a Middletown High School graduate who died in a motorcycle crash in 2004.
According to police, the family set up a hidden camera after Reeve's headstone was defaced a couple years ago.
"It was vandalized once before," said James Reeve, Brandon Reeve's father. "The stone was tipped over once. Things were stolen. Somebody had the nerve one time to take one of the bigger statues and then the following week take the second one."
James Reeve said the camera has been in place for more than two years – and on Saturday, it finally came in handy.
"We're just keeping his name and memory alive," James Reeve explained. "I don't know why anyone would want to do this to us."
Video footage shows a woman, who has shoulder-length blonde hair with bangs, driving up the grave site in a white SUV, stopping to pick up the statue and driving off with it, police said.
Although the statue is valued at $100, police said “the sentimental value is priceless.”
James Reeve said this angel watched over his son's grave for nearly 10 years.
Now the family is struggling to make sense of the crime.
"It's sacrilegious to do that to gravestones," James Reeve said. "I don't get it. I really don't understand it. If you've got a problem with me, come see me."
Police said the woman, who has not been charged, is apologetic. Wallace said she didn't realize a camera was rolling.
"She was very surprised, from what I understand, when they talked to her, but she was very remorseful," he said. "She wants the family to know it was a huge mistake and she just wasn't thinking."
Brandon Reeve graduated from Middletown High School in 2002. A scholarship fund has been set up in his honor and golf tournaments are held every summer in his memory.