Veterans' graves damaged, stolen in Shiawassee County - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Veterans' graves damaged, stolen in Shiawassee County


(12/06/13) - Someone is targeting veterans' graves in Shiawassee County.

So far the sheriff's department has taken reports of stolen bronze markers and damaged stones at Newburg Cemetery in Shiawassee Township, and Lovejoy Cemetery in Vernon Township.

It's John Sedlock's job to watch over the cemeteries in Shiawassee Township. He's also a veteran. That's why the damage is even more upsetting. "Lowest of the low. They have to be down in the bottom to do it," Sedlock said.

Sometime during the last couple of weeks, someone took stones from three gravesites, stealing a total of five bronze markers. Three belonged to veterans, two to their wives.

In addition, thieves tried to pry off other bronze markers, but couldn't get them off.

"It's a desecration and it's an arrow in your heart almost, you know, because you go through a lot to serve your country," Sedlock said.

Sedlock says one family knows about the damage. He's still working to track down two other families.

While he doesn't know who's behind this, he does know it wasn't easy. "Especially to steal a whole stone just to get the copper or the bronze, off the stones. As I showed you before, they had to pry them up, and these things are in there pretty good," Sedlock said.

Sedlock, and investigators, believe the plaques were stolen to sell as scrap metal.

Their value goes way beyond a dollar figure. "These things are worth money to start with, but they're worth more to the people who put them in, the memories, especially if it's one that they lost in the service," Sedlock said.

To help find whoever did this, the township supervisor is offering a reward out of his own pocket. If you'd like to add to that, you're asked to call the Shiawassee Township Hall at 989-634-9700.

If you have any information about the stolen grave markers, call the Shiawassee County Sheriff's Office at 989-743-2297.

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