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Cuts to the heart


Cemetery vandalism frustrates officials, family members



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August 27, 2008
MUSSEY TWP. — It's a problem that has no easy answer, township officials believe. What can be done to avert vandalism at the Capac Cemetery?

There's been a rash of thefts and incidents of ransacking at the Capac Road site since this spring.

"There's no rhyme or reason to it," said Monica Standel, chairperson of the township's cemetery board.

"It's frustrating for us, to say the least, and upsetting to family members."

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Police are investigating a rash of vandalism and theft at the Capac Cemetery this summer. photo by Maria Brown.

Urns and statues have been tipped over, hanging baskets of flowers and solar lights have been stolen while other flowers have been unpotted.

"They broke six stones off their bases...it wasn't a one-person job," Standel said of the vandals.

Standel said they're clueless as to why it's worse this year.

"Last year, it was minimal, mostly just flowers being taken," she said.

Just as surprising is the location. Mussey Twp. has three other cemeteries located in much more remote settings that haven't had any reports of damage or theft.

Township Clerk Sheila McDonald said the board considered issuing a reward for information about the incidents, but was advised against it for legal reasons.

Standel said the Capac Police Department is investigating and patrolling the area as much as possible.

"Unfortunately, we tell families to put stuff out there 'at your own risk,'" Standel said.

Families in other cemeteries in the Tri-City area have also reported having items stolen from their loved one's graves, especially potted flowers and statues.

Anyone with information on the cemetery vandalism and thefts are asked to contact Capac police at 395-4351.

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