Thieves hit Baytown cemetery

September 2, 2011 3:47:30 AM PDT
When it comes to stealing, for some criminals nothing is sacred, and some families are learning that the hard way. They are having to pay for repairs after vandals hit the Cedar Crest Cemetery and stole dozens of graveyard plaques and vases.

The cemetery has been in Baytown since 1930. But over the weekend, thieves hit, and what they couldn't steal, they decided to break.

Visiting the Cedar Crest Cemetery in Baytown is daily ritual for Ann Lestarjette. Her grandparents were laid to rest here more than 30 years ago, and later her parents and husband.

"Make sure the flowers still look good and I'm gonna sound a little crazy, but I'll talk to them, make sure they are taking care of my husband," she said.

So Monday, when she arrived for a visit, she was irate that vandals had hit.

"Why did you do this? There was no point. What did my grandparents do to you? What did any of these people do to you?" Lestarjette said.

The thieves stole 27 bronze vases and plaques from several grave sites.

The owner of the cemetery says thieves just went around yanking out the vases that are stored upside down when not in use.

"That's exactly what they took right there," said John Winemiller with Cedar Crest Cemetery.

And what thieves couldn't steal, they decided to break. This statue of Jesus was decapitated.

"They just busted the head off at the same time during the weekend. We've got the head in the office," Winemiller said.

They hope to be able to reattach it to the sculpture. Between stolen vases, plaques and property damage it all totals about $13,000, not to mention the feelings that have been hurt.

"Vandalism of any kind is uncalled for," Lestarjette said.

"These people can't defend themselves. I really don't get it," Winemiller said.

Right now the families will have to pay to replace the vases and plaques.

Baytown police are investigating. Meanwhile the owner of the cemetery is installing a surveillance system.

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