LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine – Police arrested two 16-year-old boys Tuesday evening and charged them with toppling monuments and gravestones at Pleasant View Cemetery this week.
The damage is estimated at $2,400.
The Livermore Falls and Wilton teens each face a felony charge of aggravated criminal mischief, Livermore Falls Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said. They were charged about 6 p.m. Tuesday and then released to their parents.
A dog tracking team from the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department and assistance from residents led Livermore Falls police Officer Dan Chabot to the youths, Steward said.
Police have kept a closer watch on the cemetery over the last few days because of a problem that developed around one grave, he said. Police patrolled the cemetery about 1:30 a.m. Monday and the vandalism was reported at 5:03 a.m.
About 15 monuments were toppled while lights, flowers, flags and other items were taken from several graves in the cemetery.
The stones already have been reset, Ken Finley of Finley Funeral Home said. He called a monument company to reset the stones.
“We were really fortunate. There was very light damage to the stones,” he said Wednesday. “We just do everything we can to rectify the situation.”
Costs reaching $2,400 so far have been covered by Finley, who says he looks for restitution but it doesn’t usually happen.
The large crane brought in to reset the stones costs $1,500, Steward said. Police have no way to estimate the costs amounting from the lights, flags and other items damaged or taken from the graves.
The Livermore Falls boy was brought to the Livermore Falls police station while police gave a summons to the Wilton boy at his home. Both were given a conditional release that includes a home curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., attending school, no criminal actions, submitting to searches for alcohol and drugs, no contact with each other and no visits to the cemetery.
Police referred the case to the Androscoggin County juvenile correction officer who decides whether to pursue court action or to handle it himself, Steward said.
The boys are scheduled to appear in court Oct. 22, he added.