ROBERTS, Wis. (KMSP) - Cemeteries are supposed to be sacred ground, but firefighters in Roberts, Wis. believe vandals violated their town's final resting place for some quick, albeit small, cash.
Since the mid 1800s, Warren Cemetery has been where this community buries their dead, but someone has stolen some of the precious metals they use to honor their precious memories.
Peter Close was helping a family find a cemetery plot last week when he noticed several firefighters medallions on the ground.
"What we think is they probably just put them on the grass and stepped on them, and brass is brittle metal, so it breaks,” he said.
They discovered 26 bent or broken medallions scattered across the cemetery while the brass rods used to hold the flag holders were nowhere to be seen.
Linda Hall has volunteered with the fire department for 35 years and believes vandals damaged the flag holders meant to recognize deceased volunteer firefighters in order to sell the brass bases for scrap metal.
"Isn't there something better they can take for scrap rather than going to a cemetery and taking them?” she said.
Even though the vandals left the metal markers for veterans’ graves alone, Close wants to find out who did this so the entire community can put the matter to rest.
At $50 each, fire department says it will cost $1,300 to replace the brass rods. Whoever took them, however, probably only got about $1 or $2 apiece. The fire department said they’ll use steel rods from now on.