Photos Stolen from Display Honoring Homicide Victims in Yuba County

YUBA COUNTY -- There's an inescapable look at loss if you're walking into the Yuba County government building -- loss that's very personal for Dennise Burbank.

"She was beautiful, she was spunky, she was feisty...lovable," said Burbank.

Burbank is talking about her daughter, Lannetta, who was killed on August 12, 2002, by a hit-and-run driver who has since been caught and prosecuted.

The "Faces of Homicide" display, which includes Burbank's child, is put up every year by the county's Victim Witness program.

It's supposed to honor victims, but thanks to one man, sheriff's deputies say the people in the display and their already grieving families have been victimized again.

"Valerie from Victim Witness called. She's a friend of mine and called to give me the news that Lani was missing,"said Burbank.

Surveillance video recorded inside the government building shows a man walking in looking at the pictures and talking to a female visitor just before 4 p.m. on March 24.

He's captured in a side hallway going to and coming from the bathroom, then walking back through the lobby and removing four pictures.

Next he's seen talking to another unrelated person along the way, leaving in the rain with the pictures in his hand.

"They're very reachable, but the point is, it's usually not a concern. It's not something that people are trying to handle 'cause they're just here to look and reflect," said Russ Brown, the spokesperson for Yuba County.

For those with no connection to the crimes, but who know the sadness that put these faces here in the first place, the thefts are shocking.

"That's sad too. It was like their memorial up there," said Shirley Gregory.

"I don't know what their motive is. It just doesn't seem right. Uh, I don't know. Maybe it was some of their family. Maybe they just didn't want it up here, I don't know," said Darrell Gregory.

County investigators say the thief got into a black sedan and then left with the pilfered pictures.

They also say even though he stole part of the memorial, no one will ever be able to take away the respect and compassion Yuba County has for families who have suffered so much.

"She's up there being honored, remembered, and to go take that from other people who might want to see her picture and see her loved and honored, I think it's disrespectful," said Burbank.

All of the stolen pictures have been replaced and the entire display has been moved higher on the lobby walls at the government building.

If you know anything about the man seen in a black baseball cap, black jacket and khaki pants in the county's surveillance video, sheriff's deputies want to hear from you.