WARREN, Maine — Town officials have offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the apprehension and conviction of the vandals that last week damaged or destroyed 16 headstones in River View Cemetery.
About a month ago, 17 headstones were tipped over in the same cemetery.
“It’s pretty senseless. I just don’t understand,” said Town Manager Grant Watmough. “The thought is that they might be teenagers or young adults.”
Some of the affected headstones dated back to the 1800s and some were from the 1900s, he said.
The Warren Board of Selectmen initially had offered a $500 reward but decided at Wednesday’s meeting to double the money.
“If we do catch somebody, we are committed to prosecuting them,” said Watmough.
The town had contracted with Brooks Monuments of Warren to repair the first batch of headstones, and although the final bill hasn’t been submitted, the estimate was $1,200 to $1,800.
“I am thinking the damage is similar this time,” Watmough said.
The first batch of tipped-over, broken headstones was reported by a resident who was walking through the cemetery, he said. On Friday, the second batch was reported by the contractor from Brooks Monuments.
“He looked very discouraged and said a whole lot more were damaged,” Watmough said.
It appeared the perpetrators had walked into the cemetery rather than taking vehicles and so might live within walking distance, he said.
Town officials hope residents will report any suspicious activity around the cemetery to the Knox County Sheriff’s Department.
“I can say that we would appreciate any citizens keeping their eyes open in that area,” Watmough said.
Anyone with information about the vandalism may contact the Warren Town Office at 273-2421.
Vandals target cemetery again
Damaged, destroyed headstones prompt Warren to double reward