Theft of bronze vases from Newhall cemetery reaches about 300
The thieves are trying to sell the vases to metal recyclers, according to Sgt. James Anderson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Each vase is 20 pounds of bronze and retails for up to $300, Anderson said.
Mourners use the vases to store flowers. The vessels sit in grooves at each grave site at the Eternal Valley Memorial Cemetery in Newhall and are occasionally secured with chains.
Jessica McDunn, spokeswoman for the cemetery, said they do not know when the thefts began or how many there have been. The repeated thefts have forced the cemetery has to adopt unusual security measures, McDunn said.
"We've added security patrols, and they're approaching every after-hours visitor regarding the theft," McDunn said.
The cemetery has also begun to replace the bronze vases with vessels made from cheaper, more common metals in an attempt to deter potential thieves, McDunn said.
Anderson said the case is still under investigation and he does not know if the same people committed all of the thefts.
-- Frank Shyong
Photo: Eternal Valley Memorial Cemetery in Newhall. Credit: Eternal Valley Memorial Cemetery