Dane County officials investigating cemetery thefts in Dunkirk - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Dane County officials investigating cemetery thefts in Dunkirk

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TOWN OF DUNKIRK (WKOW) -- The Dane County Sheriff's Office is investigating thefts and vandalism at a local cemetery. For those who take care of St. Ann's Catholic Cemetery and those who have loved ones buried there, any disruption to the site is personal.

Dean Hanson visited his wife's grave soon after hearing about the crimes. "They don't know what kind of grief they're causing somebody who's already gone through their own grief," Hanson said. His wife's grave remains untouched but the cemetery itself is still important. Hanson says his family owns the largest plot at St. Ann's. "I have a lot of reason to be concerned about something being damaged or vandalized in this place," he said.

In the past three weeks, items have been taken from the plots and some tombstones have been broken. "Somebody has taken advantage of the ease of getting in here and stealing the brass faces and things that are of value for recycling," said St. Ann Catholic Church Cemetery Sexton Tom Novak. Some of the broken tombstones are priceless and date back to the 1800s. He said, "It's just one of those things that's for no good reason, why break a gravestone?"

For Novak, the vandalism will mean repairing and re-locating broken tombstones. Dane County Sheriff's officials are also on the case. "That's sacred ground, cemetery's are sacred ground so what they're doing is not only a sin but it's a crime," Novak said.

Anyone that may have information on the these crimes is asked to call the Dane County tip line at (608) 284-6900.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Dane County officials are looking for information on thefts and trespassing violations at St. Ann's Catholic Cemetery in the town of Dunkirk.

The Dane County Sheriff's Department says the cemetery's caretaker reported several brass flower holders have gone missing from grave cites. The caretaker also said there was damage to some of the older grave markers in the cemetery, dating back to the 1800's.

Authorities say the flower vases have an estimated valued of $20 to $40 each. However, the older grave markers are considered priceless. 

Anyone that may have information on the these crimes is asked to call the Dane County tip line at (608) 284-6900.

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