June 29, 2016

Mostly clear

Veterans plaque stolen from Brunswick cemetery

Brunswick police are investigating the theft from a cemetery of a bronze plaque inscribed with the names of 100 veterans.

The thieves removed bolts on the 300-pound plaque and carried it out of Eastlawn Memory Gardens, 2869 Grafton Road, sometime between Thursday, June 20, and Tuesday, June 25, when a maintenance worker noticed the theft, according to a police report.

A 300-pound plaque inscribed with the names of 100 veterans was reported stolen last week from Eastlawn Memory Gardens, at 2869 Grafton Road in Brunswick. The plaque pictured is not the one stolen but one of four similar plaques. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

The plaque had the names of 100 veterans of World War II and the Korea and Vietnam wars.

Jeff Roberts, a partner in American Cemetery Services, the company that manages the cemetery, said the plaque was one of four on a “veterans’ court of honor” monument.

The plaque that was stolen was bolted on and easier to remove, he said. The other three plaques were embedded into the stone. He said the designers of the memorial hadn’t anticipated so many names, and originally only planned three plaques in the early 1980s.

Roberts said the stolen plaque was at the rear of the monument.

“Being in the back, it wasn’t discovered quickly,” he said.

He said the plaque cost between $1,400 and $1,500 to produce, and each name cost $120 to engrave.

Police have contacted local scrap yards to be on the lookout for someone trying to sell the plaque, which could fetch up to $1,200.

Other cemeteries across the country have been similarly targeted.

In Redondo Beach, Fla., for example, thieves stole three bronze grave markers from a veterans cemetery in 2010.

And in January, thieves stole bronze doors worth more than $8,000 from a century-old tomb at a Pittsburgh cemetery.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.