Copper thieves steal from military headstones

WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - Not even the American flags, or peaceful sounds of a wind chime could stop the unthinkable.

The thieves were on a mission, and they left behind a major void in Pine View Memorial Gardens.

Barbara Whitman, visiting a loved on at the cemetery says, "It's disregard for human remains, for family members' loved ones. Basic desecration."

The attraction: 45 solid copper vases valued at more than $200 a piece, taken from an invaluable sanctuary.

Whitman visits her loved one at Pine View, often replacing the flowers on the headstone several times a year.

One headstone didn't catch the eye of the vandals, but the final resting places of decorated World War II veterans like Norman Winn weren't as fortunate.

"I've had flowers stolen off graves, but nothing like this."

Owners feel the suspects stayed on the military side of the cemetery because it was farthest from the road where they were less likely to be seen.

To add insult to injury - the thieves dropped the flowers back in the support that once held the vase on top of the headstone.

Whitman has this message for those responsible: "Go get a job, times are tough; but, this is just ridiculous."

It's a place of reverence and remembrance, violated by suspects searching for fast cash.

If you have any information on the theft, please call CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP, for information on the condition of a loved one's headstone call: 567-2143.

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