HINGHAM (CBS) – Crisp American flags mark the graves of veterans buried at the High Street cemetery in Hingham. Each spot is also supposed to be marked by a bronze plaque featuring the veteran’s branch of service and other personal information. But just before Memorial Day, three families came here to find their loved one’s bronze markers missing.
“The average person wouldn’t notice it was missing when you walk by,” explained Hingham Police Sargent Steven Dearth. “You couldn’t even see it. You have to come right up on it.”
The one foot by two foot markers weigh about 20 pounds and cost $350. Police think whoever stole them might be trying to sell them for scrap, not necessarily targeting anyone in particular or making a political statement.
“Nothing here that indicates that it’s anti-veteran; but obviously tampering with any grave, it just doesn’t get any lower than that,” Dearth said.
One bright spot: even though the first of the markers was just reported missing on May 19th, one has already been replaced and the other two soon will be.
“Fortunately, the Veteran’s Administration, through the local veteran’s office here in Hingham will replace them free. So they will get replaced,” Dearth said. “But that’s not the issue, the issue is they’re stealing from grave-sites and veterans as well.”
Hingham investigators are hoping a scrap metal dealer who sees these markers show up will tell them in a hurry so police can catch the thieves. Police also want other veterans’ family members to be aware of the thefts.