Vandals target cemetery
by Glenn Moore
Jan 17, 2013 | 8253 views | 13 13 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Headstones damaged at cemetery
A granite headstone was toppled by vandals who damaged about 40 headstones at the Tracy Cemetery between Tuesday, Jan. 15, and Wednesday, Jan. 16. The damage was still visible Wednesday, Jan. 16.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Vandals damaged about 40 headstones at the Tracy Cemetery between Tuesday evening, Jan. 15, and Wednesday morning, Jan. 16.

Tracy Public Cemetery District board director Gene Birk said ground crews discovered the damage at 501 E. Schulte Road when they arrived for work at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Workers left the cemetery around 5 p.m. Tuesday evening.

The vandals could have gained entry through one of the gates that remain open 24 hours every day of the year, Birk said.

Granite vases attached to headstones were broken off in the I, J, U, V and W sections of the cemetery, and a few headstones, including a large granite marker weighing nearly 300 pounds, had been toppled from their bases.

Birk said whoever damaged the graves probably first smashed a pair of security lights attached to the roof of the cemetery office.

An office window was also smashed, and two large planters were overturned.

At least one footprint was visible next to a displaced marker.

“I can’t believe someone would be that mean,” Birk said, as he surveyed the damage Wednesday afternoon.

He said it will fall upon surviving family members to make repairs to the headstones.

“Families own the headstones — they don’t belong to the cemetery,” he said.

Birk said cemetery district officials would begin contacting families Thursday, Jan. 17, to notify them of the damage. After that, it will be up to relatives to decide what repairs to make.

Fixes could run into the hundreds of dollars per headstone, Birk said.

Some of the damage was to grave markers that could be more than 50 years old. If families cannot be contacted about the damage, Birk said the cemetery might try to clean up the headstones as much as possible, but would not make repairs.

The director said the cemetery board would have a special meeting Thursday to discuss the vandalism and how it might be prevented.

Birk couldn’t understand why anyone would damage the headstones.

“These are someone’s moms and dads, brothers and sisters,” he said. “Whoever did this is really sick.”

The Tracy Police Department took a report about the vandalism, but Lt. Greg Farmanian did not have any information regarding the incident or possible suspects as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Farmanian said the department’s chances of catching those responsible hinge on what was left at the cemetery.

“It really depends upon what type of evidence we gather,” he said.

He added that the cemetery has been vandalized in the past, but that it’s not typically a target.

“This seems to be an isolated incident right now,” he said.

• Contact Glenn Moore 830-4252 or gmoore@tracypress.com
Comments
(13)
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Seek_the_Truth
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January 18, 2013
DISGUSTING
Ohiogirlatheart
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January 18, 2013
This is really sad. I don't understand why the cemetery is open to vehicle traffic 24 hours a day--seems like that is inviting trouble. As it is now a few lights and a license plate camera aren't going to stop this kind of idiot anyway.

I grew up in the midwest where all the cemeteries opened at sun up and closed (the gates were shut and locked) at sun down. Of course that cannot prevent people from jumping over fences but at least they can't drive in there by the car load. My sympathy to the families who have to try to repair or replace the stones that were damaged.
doors17
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January 18, 2013
I’m not a 100% certain but I believe they do close the cemetery at sundown or a set time each day. Perhaps someone knows for sure.

One would think a cemetery would be one place where you wouldn’t need security cameras, but as Back in Black said yesterday, hopefully one of them will brag to others and someone will make an anonymous call and those responsible will be held accountable to a least pay for the damages and have some time behind bars to think of the pain they caused to so many.

agriffo
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January 17, 2013
I moved away a long time ago from Tracy. But I have my mother, sister and father buried in Tracy Cemetery. So did my siblings who do we contact about the grave stones

LAM75
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January 17, 2013
backinblack, I read the comments from the bottom to the top.

My comment was going t be "It looks like families have to buy insurance for headstones."

You kind of answered my comment.
backinblack
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January 17, 2013
For those affected who may not be aware, grave markers are covered on homeowners & renters policies subject to a set limit which could vary depending on the policy. For example Travelers is $5000. The amount can be found under the Additional Coverages section of your policy and the deductible for personal property will apply.
mrmnfallacy
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January 17, 2013
...disgusting. May the parents, kids, and future generations of punks involved in doing this suffer sterility, bad fortune, and ill health into perpetuity starting now. Thanks parents involved for your contribution to raising kids like these. Ever heard of birth control...?
emmaspencer
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January 17, 2013
Ah yes The Tracy Press, the only things it's good for is the classifieds and it fits the cat litter-box perfectly !!!!! YIPPIE!!!!!!
Tracygirlatheart
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January 17, 2013
@emmaspencer Really? Do you pay the money to buy the Tracy Press for your litter-box? If you don't like the paper, don't buy it. I'm thankful for the news I do receive from the Press. I will be checking with the cemetery to see if any of my relative's markers were disturbed. Thank you Tracy Press.
doors17
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January 17, 2013
I cringed when I read this headline. I sure hope they find and convict those who are responsible for such a low and cowardly act. How awful for the surviving families to have to deal with this and possibly not have the financial needs to pay for the repairs and especially those who no longer have survivors. I’m sure there are many worried about condition of the graves of those they loved.

No amount of alcohol or stupidity can excuse this type of criminal behavior.

bobrod
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January 17, 2013
Ya, not to mention the bad, bad mojo that goes with it. This is the type of crime that has an attached consequence. What comes around, goes around......and a higher authority doesn't plea-bargan. What a bunch of punks!
backinblack
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January 17, 2013
Vandals are amongst the lowest form of scum in our society and this criminal act is as low as it gets. If there's a hell I hope that's where the miscreants who did this wind up and I hope it's sooner rather than later.

Hopefully the idiots who did this will pop off to someone who'll have the guts to hand them in.

I'm sure there's some proud parents somewhere, hopefully nobody will make excuses for this act, the vandals are low life punks, period.


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