Thieves hit Covington cemetery for second time

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- For the second time in less than a month, thieves have hit Lawnwood Cemetery at 1111 Access Road. In January 70 bronze vases were reported stolen and sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning thieves made off with an additional 35 vases, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

The total dollar amount for the thefts is estimated to be more than $30,000.

"We haven't arrested any suspects," said NCSO spokesman Lt. Keith Crum. "We're sure they're selling them for scrap metal, but they must be taking them out of the county to another location."

Crum said typically thieves would break the vases apart and mix the pieces in with other brass material, trying to camouflage them when they take them to a recycling center.

"There's not a legitimate purpose for these types of vases to be recycled," Crum said. "If a recycle center notices them, they should call law enforcement. Otherwise, if they take something they suspect was stolen, they would be committing a felony."

Crum said the vases can be quickly and easily taken as they are only held in place by a small chain that can be broken with minimum effort.

"We're just asking for the public's help," he said. "If anyone has any information on who stole them, where they're going, or any suspicious activity around the cemetery after dark, we'd appreciate a call."

Tipsters can call the NCSO at 678-625-1400 or tips can be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through their Web site at www.newtonsheriffga.org and clicking on "anonymous tips." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.