COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The problem of vandalism at Green Lawn Cemetery has led to a new partnership with Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.
On Wednesday, the cemetery will announce a reward through Crime Stoppers for tips leading to the arrest of the vandals.
Cemetery board member Randy Rogers says close to 600 markers and monuments have been damaged since September 2015. The cemetery estimates the cost of the vandalism at $1.25 million.
Most of the damage is in the older sections of the cemetery where many of the monuments date back 150 years or more.
PHOTOS: Cemetery vandalism
PHOTOS: Cemetery vandalism x
On just one night this past August, the vandals hit 109 markers. Cemetery security saw them running away and described them as two white men who looked to be in their 20’s.
Frank Crosky and his wife were out putting a few Christmas decorations on the graves of loved ones today. They say they are disgusted by the vandalism.
“I don’t know who could do anything like that,” Crosky said. “I think it’s about as low as you can go.”
Charles Marshall says a couple of years ago vandals threw paint on his father’s marker at Greenlawn so this latest wave of vandalism does not surprise him.
“I mean we come here to mourn and to remember and I just think it’s terrible that it happens but you see it a lot,” Marshall said.
The cemetery increased security patrols and hired a private investigator but the vandalism has continued. They believe the same two or three people are responsible for most of the damage. Rogers hopes the partnership with Crime Stoppers and the offer of a reward will generate some tips to find those responsible for the vandalism.