Crooks Target Cemetery: $2,400 Worth Of Property Taken - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Crooks Target Cemetery: $2,400 Worth Of Property Taken

Crooks Target Cemetery: $2,400 Worth Of Property Taken

CHOWCHILLA, Calif. (KMPH) -

For a quick buck, some crooks will do just about anything.

"It upsets me; the lack of compassion and the lack respect people have or don't have nowadays," said Dustin Mason, the Superintendent for the Chowchilla Cemetery.

A cemetery is the final resting spot for those who have passed on.

It is the last place anyone would think to steal from.

Or is it?

"Cemeteries are easy targets; at nighttime its dark  ... easy access," said Mason.

Monday Morning Mason discovered 24 bronze and brass hooks and vases were snatched off the mausoleum wall.

The set costs about $100.

According to the Madera County Sheriff's Department, at re-sale, it's worth no more than five dollars.

The monetary damage for the cemetery however, adds up to $2,400.

Mason says it isn't the money that worries him, but the piece of mind that's been stolen from the families who have grandparents, friends and fellow veterans at the cemetery.

"Aside from putting armed security guards here when we aren't here…what's not a target?" said Mason.

Bronze name plaques and other decorative piece are everywhere the eyes can see.

But how soon before it happens again?

Employees hope the community will come together to put a stop to it.

"It's going to be up to us, the community, the brothers, the sisters, the guys that work in the recycling shops to find these culprits," said Mason.

The cemetery has filed a report with the sheriff's department.

Finding the crooks however will be tough.

The department says it currently has no leads, no surveillance video and no witnesses to work with.

This is the first time a Chowchilla cemetery has been burglarized, but not the first time for the Valley.

A Merced county cemetery was hit a few months ago.

Investigators say the damage was in the thousands.

 

Anyone who may have information is urged to call either the Madera County Sheriff's Office at 559-675-7976 or CRIME STOPPERS at 498-STOP.

Anonymous tips can also be made through the Valley Crime Stoppers web page at www.valleycrimestoppers.org

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