Residents upset about vandalized cemetery

September 29, 2008 9:10:38 PM PDT
The owner of a Spring Lake cemetery is offering a reward for the arrest of thieves who vandalized dozens of graves. It happened late last week at the Riverview Memorial Gardens.

The owner says thieves kicked over flowers and stole metal vases right off the headstones.

Ray Adcock owns Riverview Cemetery and he has family buried there. He says what thieves did is beneath contempt, it's despicable.

"It's an invasion of privacy so to speak," Adcock said. "This is sacred ground here. They come out here and have a lot of memories ? it's almost like breaking into your home. Someone comes in you feel invaded."

Adcock says the cemetery doesn't look as bad now as it did. Many of the overturned vases and tossed flowers are back in their rightful places.

Many headstones are bare, a gaping hole where a bronze vase and flowers used to sit.

There are veterans buried there, someone put American flags on several of the vandalized graves.

Adcock says more than 70 vases were stole, .he thinks either late Thursday or Friday.

"And I don't think they knew what they were doing when they done it," Spring Lake resident John Ward said.

Ward's son's grave was one of the ones hit by the thieves. He thinks they were looking for a quick way to make some cash.

"They thought they were getting copper, which they are not. They are made of bronze, copper and zinc, and it's not real valuable metal like plain copper," he said.

Cumberland County Sheriff's Department is investigating the case.

Adcock has put up $1,000 reward. Ward and other families have added another $1,700 --making the reward to turn in whoever is responsible to $2,700.

Area metals dealers have also been warned to call authorities when and if someone tries to sell them the bronze vases.


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