Police: 30+ headstones destroyed at Sturgis cemetery

Dozens of headstones were damaged at Oaklawn Cemetery in Sturgis. (Courtesy Sturgis Police Dept./April 4, 2016)

STURGIS, Mich. (WOOD/AP) — A reward for information leading to the suspect(s) responsible for vandalizing a cemetery in Sturgis has increased.

Police say more than 30 headstones were destroyed at Oaklawn Cemetery over the weekend of April 1 and a small house on the property also was vandalized.

Dozens of headstones were damaged at Oaklawn Cemetery in Sturgis. (Courtesy Sturgis Police Dept./April 4, 2016)
Dozens of headstones were damaged at Oaklawn Cemetery in Sturgis. (Courtesy Sturgis Police Dept./April 4, 2016)

Authorities say the damage is estimated at more than $50,000. The majority of headstones damaged dated as far back as the 1800s. According to the city’s website, the cemetery was established in 1867.

The city was originally offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of the suspects. Since the incident, several businesses have come forward to help with the investigation and the reward has been raised to $3,000.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sturgis Police Department at 269.659.7260, St. Joseph County Central Dispatch at 269.467.4195 or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.342.STOP.

In Van Buren County, nearly three dozen tombstones were toppled, damaged or broken at the Lacota Cemetery on March 19. Three teens later admitted to police they began tipping the headstones over for fun and because they were bored.

Comments are closed.