Vandals hit Tuscola cemetery twice in a week

Vandals hit Tuscola cemetery twice in a week

UPDATED 6:40 p.m. Monday

TUSCOLA — Employees of Adams Memorials in Charleston worked on Monday to replace headstones at the Tuscola Township Cemetery, located at U.S. 45 and South Prairie Street, following the vandalism of 57 headstones over the past week.

Tuscola Police Chief Craig Hastings said fewer than 15 headstones were damaged last Tuesday night, then the others were damaged Saturday night. Both incidents took place after dark, Hastings said.

He said police were notified by the cemetery’s caretaker.

He said many of the headstones were knocked off their bases.

Cemetery board member Tim Hilligoss said he was shocked to learn about the extent of the damage.

“I’ve been on the board for about 20 years and this is the biggest vandalism I remember,” Hilligoss said. “Every four or five years, we have an incident like this, but nothing as extensive as the damage done this past week. We have a very upset community right now.”

Hilligoss said it was too early to estimate the damage.

“We’re still waiting for the final bill,” he said.

Hastings said police suspect the same people involved in the Tuesday night incident took part in the Saturday night vandalism because they followed the same path, damaging headstones in a swath from the northwest to the southeast.

Nobody had yet been arrested as of Monday evening, he said.

Persons with information about the vandalism are asked to call Tuscola police at 253-2351.

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sweet caroline wrote on April 08, 2013 at 9:04 pm

How low can people get joy out of destroying graves.  I'm disgusted by this shameful act of violence.  How heartbreaking it must be for the loved ones of the deceased.  Shame on the imbeciles who would do something like this! I hope they're caught and thrown in jail for a very long time.  And I hope they have to pay every dime of the repair costs.

Trapper wrote on April 09, 2013 at 7:04 am

I've seen many times when the Tuscola police are sitting 1 mile out of town on both sides of town at night. I know the county and the state need money made by issuing tickets in speed traps. But maybe if they spent their time at night patroling the town including the grave yard these folks would be arrested. You cant catch folks committing crimes in your town at night when you are sitting at the gravel pit a mile outside of town hoping to write a speeding or DUI ticket, Get in town and down your job.

choco640 wrote on April 09, 2013 at 11:04 am

If this problem has happened before, my questions is why have cameras not been installed to try and catch the culprits?  This can be easily done and they can be motion sensor activated so they do not run constantly.   Also, video equipment is not near as expensive and it used to be.  This is a disheartening and disgusting thing to happen.