OK-CEMETERIES-L ArchivesArchiver > OK-CEMETERIES > 2007-08 > 1187710744
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Subject: [OK-CEMETERIES] Vandalism of Elmwood Cemetery in Wagoner, OK
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 15:39:04 -0000
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"Vandals Damage Wagoner Cemetery"
By D. E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer
Vandals desecrated tombstones, statues, and vases, and damaged a gazebo and wrought-iron fence at a Wagoner cemetery during the weekend.
Authorities said about a half dozen tombstones were damaged beyond repair. The damage discovered Monday morning is expected to cost from $5,000 to $6,000 to repair.
"Vandalism isn't the word for it," said Ron Ross, cemetery sexton for the city of Wagoner. "It's horrible what they did out there."
In addition to damaging the stones and other items, the vandals also dropped the flags, detached them and turned them upside down, reconnected them and laid them across the ground.
Ross said the damage appeared to be random but occurred mostly in the more remote parts of Elmwood Cemetery, which is located in the northcentral part of town.
Police said they don't have any suspects. Ross said he thinks it was somebody who is mad at the city of Wagoner.
"I've been here 25 years and this has happened about five times," Ross said. "Until now, the worst damage that had been done was when somebody damaged 27 tombstones."
Authorities aren't sure when the damage was done. Det. Paulette Caskey said she thinks the vandal may have struck Saturday night. Ross, who was at the cemetery Saturday for a funeral, said he thinks it may have occurred Sunday night.
"That ground was so hard and dry before it rained," Ross said. "But where those stones fell, there were deep impressions in the ground."
Ross said city workers will try to contact the families of those whose tombstones were destroyed. The stones and other items that are easily fixed will be repaired by city workers.
Caskey said while the cemetery gates are locked at night, it isn't hard for people to enter the cemetery at night. But she said authorities hope an alert neighbor may have information that will help them catch the vandal.
How to help
Anyone who has information regarding vandalism in the Wagoner cemetery is encouraged to call the Wagoner Police Department at 485-5511.
Published 21 Aug 2007
"Muskogee Phoenix" newspaper
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