RNJ News Department

Morris County flower shop owner stole flowers from cemetery

PEQUANNOCK TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – A Riverdale flower shop owner has been charged for allegedly stealing flowers from a cemetery, police said in a news release Friday.

Lynda S. Wingate, 59, of Riverdale was arrested and charged with theft of movable property, police said.

Over the past several months, police received multiple reports of flowers, plants and other items that have been stolen from graves at the First Reformed Church Cemetery in Pompton Plains, police said.

Detectives initiated an investigation which included replacing two of the missing plants in front of an ash columbarium and installing surveillance cameras in the area on April 21, police said.

Two days later, the property managers of the cemetery contacted detectives to report that the plants were missing, police said.

The surveillance pictures were able to observe a woman approach the location in a silver minivan, exit the vehicle and remove the plants, police said.

The woman was identified as Wingate by the members of the police department and were able to positively identify the suspect from video footage as a former police dispatcher and current flower shop owner from town, police said.

Wingate, the owner of Lyncrafts & Floral Designs, was charged and released pending appearance in municipal court.

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By: Jay Edwards
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(Photo Courtesy: Pequannock Police Department)