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Renewed call for info on cemetery vandals


Offer rewards of $40,000

Authorities this week renewed their appeal for the public’s help in finding suspects who vandalized two cemeteries in Compton and Carson, stealing bronze plaques and memorial markers.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has established a pair of $20,000 reward offers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the crimes.

On Jan. 6, vandals targeted Woodlawn Celestial Gardens cemetery in Compton, “one of the oldest operating cemeteries in Los Angeles County,” dating back to the 1880s, according to a motion by Supervisor Holly Mitchell requesting the reward funding.

“The cemetery includes numerous prominent figures and many local military veterans going as far back as the Civil War and the Spanish-American War,” according to the motion. “The property owner estimates the financial loss to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

On Jan. 12, Lincoln Memorial Park in Carson was hit by vandals who ripped bronze markers and plaques from headstones and walls of a mausoleum. According to Mitchell, damage from that heist was estimated to be more than $2 million.

“A prominent bronze statue of President Abraham Lincoln that was dedicated in 1934 was damaged in an attempt to remove a plaque from the facade of the statue,” according to Mitchell’s motion. “Additionally, a large bronze plaque that was gifted and dedicated to the cemetery in 1949 by former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Louis to commemorate and honor local veterans who died in combat had also been removed and stolen.”

No suspects have been identified. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau is investigating, and anyone with information about the crimes is urged to contact detectives at (562) 946-7893.