Toledo cemetery vandalized, 60 headstones damaged

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo Police are looking for suspects who have turned over and damaged dozens of gravestones in Forest Cemetery.

Cemetery leaders are still working on cleaning up the vandalism in North Toledo.

Around 60 grave stones were tipped over in the cemetery this weekend

Some of them weighed upwards of 1,000 pounds, which makes city leaders think whoever did this did not act alone.

"It's embarrassing that an individual that is alive would do something like that," said City Council member, Larry Sykes.

"It is absolutely horrible, I couldn't imagine a better word for disrespect. This is a horrible act that was done, some of the gravestones that we're toppled over were pre-1900's, so 1880's, 1890's," said Luke Smigielski, the City of Toledo Cemeteries Foreman.

City cemetery leaders are reviewing their surveillance footage of the cemetery.

Within the last 24 hours, they've fixed 40 smaller headstones, and 5 larger ones, but still have work to do.

"It concerns me because I don't know why individuals would want to vandalize individual's tombstones, breaking them off, turning them over, it's not funny, that's not acceptable," Sykes said.

"When we work so hard to do a good job and make this place put it's best foot forward, it's just very upsetting to see the amount of damage that was caused," said Smigielski.

This isn't the only thing concerning Sykes about the cemetery.

He said that he is disgusted with grass not being cleaned up after it is mowed.

"If they have to have someone follow behind them with a blower or with a broom, sweeping off the grass off the tombstones, when you look at tombstones out here with these markers, you can't even see who they are," Sykes said.

City leaders said that they are doing their best to clean up, but it has been hard with the amount of rain, adding that the area has seen a number of issues recently.

"We've had decorative walls destroyed, we've had flower beds destroyed, we've had headstones tipped over now in large numbers," said Smigielski.

Sykes believes a proper punishment would be for suspects to do community service in the cemetery, possibly cleaning the gravestones.

The damage is estimated to be around $10,000, which could make this a felony charge.

City leaders are asking anyone who knows anything to call Toledo Police.

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