India Young came to the Maryland National Cemetery with balloons for her grandmother’s grave on her birthday.
For her, it’s a special moment to express her love and deal with her sorrow. So when she learned that thieves had stolen bronze markers from at least 15 graves, she was angry.
“For this to happen it’s just blatantly disrespectful. It’s just wrong,” Young said. “They have no heart to do something like this.”
According to an indictment, returned by a Prince George’s County grand jury, four men made a nearly $500,000 business of robbing graves. According to the charges, starting in 2009, the men hit, among others, the Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton and the Maryland National Cemetery in Lauren again and again.
It’s alleged the men stole bronze grave markers, flower vases and statues and then sold or tried to sell it to scrap dealers.
The men were arrested after one recycling company called police.
Since they were arrested, there have been no more thefts.
State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks says she hopes it stays that way.
“This is sacred,” said Alsobrooks. “Graveyard markers and urns are off limits. They really are we hope we send that message.”