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Brass Markers Stolen from Dozens of Montcalm Co. Veterans’ Graves

Posted at 9:35 PM, Sep 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-25 22:32:52-04

REYNOLDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.-  Dozens of brass markers were stolen from the graves of veterans in a Montcalm County Cemetery, sparking outrage in the small West Michigan community.

The local Howard City VFW hall post commander Dennis Stewart says they can’t afford to keep replacing these medallions, which cost between $60 and $70 to replace.

Howard City Police Chief Steve Dewitt says this crime is unimaginable and he’s committed to finding those responsible.

“They could just be selling them for scrap metal, which is even worse than the most despicable thing you can think of,” Stewart said.

For the time being, the stolen markers are being replaced by plastic ones.   It’s a way of honoring the veterans but eliminating the value to thieves.

The markers aren’t the only thing missing, though. Across the cemetery, two Rose of Sharon bushes Doug Ladanyi planted at his parents’ grave were pulled from the ground.

The original bushes, planted in 2008, were stolen two weeks ago.  Replacement bushes were replanted Monday.  Wednesday, when Ladanyi came to water the new bushes, he found the replacement bushes had been stolen.

He thinks the bushes were sold along with the stolen veteran markers.

Now, both he and Stewart just want the stolen items returned.

The VFW in Howard City will be holding a fish fry on Thursday in hopes of raising money to replace some of the stolen markers.