Thieves are targeting cemeteries and mausoleums in St. Louis for bronze doors and metal containers.
Thieves are targeting a local cemetery and mausoleums and what they are taking may surprise you.
Police say thieves are stealing large, heavy doors off of mausoleums at Calvary Cemetery.
Ron Hagen’s family members are buried there. His uncle’s father was buried there since the 1950s his uncle’s mother since the 1970s. Hagen says their burial site was untouched until now.
“The cemetery called us about two and a half weeks ago saying the door was stolen,” said Hagen. Sure enough when he showed up, the heavy, ornate, bronze doors that once stood were gone.
“I saw this and a piece of artwork in St. Louis disappeared and the grave has been desecrated. It’s disgusting,” said Hagen.
St. Louis city police say this is one of two incidents they responded to at Calvary Cemetery over the past two weeks. They say it has been happening for years.
“It looks like it’s become a rash or it’s starting to become an epidemic,” said Hagen.
Thieves are also targeting graves in Union, Missouri.
CBS Local reported:
The gnawing need for more drugs is blamed for a rash of home burglaries and metal thefts in Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke says the thieves are so desperate they’re stealing urns.
“The frustration is another reason we’ve formed this task force and the burglaries and also metal thefts. We’ve had people steal urns out of cemeteries and scrap them for money. It’s really sad,” says Toelke.
The Franklin County Sheriff burglary task force has already made14 arrests and have recovered some stolen items. Homeowners are urged to call the Sheriff’s office if they get strangers knocking on their door asking for directions or looking for a “lost dog.”