BUCKSPORT, Maine — Police are investigating leads regarding who stole two heavy doors to a tomb near Silver Lake.
The doors — each about 6 feet tall and made of brass — were reported stolen on July 3 from the Silver Lake Cemetery. Police do not know exactly when the theft occurred. A local funeral home stores the deceased in the stone and cement tomb temporarily as they await burial, said Sgt. David Winchester.
The tomb, located at the base of the hill on which the cemetery sits, is visible from an access road to Silver Lake. The doors were reported missing by a group of people preparing to launch a boat to go fishing.
The sergeant, who called the theft “disturbing,” said he suspects more than one person would have been needed for the heist.
“These doors are heavy,” he said. “They’re like 150-plus pounds apiece. My guess is it would probably take more than one person to get the doors free and to load them up.” The doors were behind a locked fence, and Winchester said it looks like the lock was cut.
Thomas Sweet, president of the Silver Lake Cemetery Association, which manages the graveyard, said police told him that when the theft was reported, there was still one body being stored in the tomb. He said the funeral company, Mitchell and Tweedie Funeral Home and Cremation Service, took the body back to await burial.
Neither Winchester nor the funeral home would confirm or deny that there were any remains in the tomb when the theft occurred. On Friday, July 5, the tomb was empty.
Sweet said he suspects the thief or thieves will try to sell the doors to a scrap metal dealer, and said he fears the crime may embolden other would-be thieves to target other graveyards in the state.
Replacement of the doors will fall to the cemetery association, Sweet said. The group doesn’t have a large account balance, he said, so buying or building new doors will be a struggle.
“I’ll build a new wooden door if I have to,” he said. “I don’t dare put metal back up. It might get stolen again.”
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