Stealing from the dead; gravestone urns taken

BROOKLYN PARK, Md - There are many ways to remember the dead.

For most families it's as simple as leaving flowers on a tombstone.

For others, a flag will do or a personal memento to mark the passage of time and the loss of a loved one.

People respect the dead, because rest in peace really means something.

But some folks would disturb that peace, for money.

"Some employees at the Cedar Hill Cemetery were informed that several graves were disrupted in particular there were vases, bronze vases adhered or affixed to theses grave markers were stolen.  It's estimated that about 75 were taken." Anne Arundel County Police Spokesman Justin Mulcahey says.

This is the second theft of bronze vases from the cemetery in less than a month.

In early September someone took about 30 vases.

The thieves are after the metal the price of bronze is about one dollar and 60 cents a pound.

All told about the thieves disturbed the peace of the dead and their families for about three hundred dollars.

By phone a spokesperson for Cedar Hill told ABC2 News that the vases cost the families about anywhere from six to seven hundred dollars depending on the size.

Denise Westerfield says "We are very saddened by these thefts. To steal something that families use to honor their loved ones is a shame."

Westerfield says they're working with Anne Arundel County police to find out who did this.

Meanwhile police say that the thieves may be stealing something that they can't sell.

"We work diligently with these scrap metal dealers to be cognizant to what the law is and it is illegal for them to take in these type of products these urns these bronze plaques from grave sites and we'll continue to educate them to make sure they can't do that."  Mulcahey says.

Westerfield says that they are asking families who discover that their vase  is missing to contact them immediately.

They're offering to replace the bronze vase with one made out of zinc, a metal that has little value to metal thieves.

Meantime county police say they're working on several leads in the case.

They're asking anyone with any information to call police.

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