Vandals hit West Irvine Cemetery; steal vases from Sunset Memorial Gardens
Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery has been plagued by thieves taking copper vases and plaques several times. Now the West Irvine Cemetery, located right across the road, is the victim of vandals.
Monday, Warren Toler, Warren Toler Jr. , Ethan Witt and two other employees of the Toler Funeral Home were in the cemetery righting headstones that had been pushed over by vandals, on a recent weekend.
The graves the stones marked were almost to the top of the hill across Glory Street from Calvary Baptist Church.
“This is just pure meaness,” Warren Toler exclaimed. “When they have stolen things from the other cemetery it was to sell it or trade it for drugs. This just doesn’t make sense.”
Several headstones in one row were pushed over as well as others scattered throughout the same general area. The men had to use a small tractor with a front loader to right the stones, some of which had bases pulled out of the ground.
Toler Sr. said he is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the latest copper vase thefts in Sunset Memorial Gardens. There have been more than 50 vases, weighing about eight pounds each taken and they cost about $100 each.
“If this (vandalism) keeps up, we will offer a reward to find out who is doing this, as well,” he said. “We will put up some kind of barriers so at least nobody can drive in at night.”
Estill County Sheriff Gary Freeman said that if anybody has any information about the theft of the copper vases at Sunset Memorial Gardens or the vandalism in the West Irvine Cemetery to call his office at 723-2323 or Estill County Dispatch non-emergency number, 723-2201.