Claremont cemetery vandalized for 2nd time - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Claremont cemetery vandalized for 2nd time

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It's a sacred spot-- the West Pleasant Street cemetery in Claremont, N.H. But, over the weekend, criminals left their mark.

"It is, it is very senseless," said Barbara Vashaw of Claremont.

More than 30 gravestones were knocked over and damaged, dozens of family plots disturbed. Many of the remains in this historic cemetery have rested peacefully here for hundreds of years.

"It seems like there is something else that they could be doing better without picking on the dead people. They are resting, you know," Vashaw said.

"We had patrols that went through that cemetery late Saturday evening, so we suspect that the damage took place between Saturday night and early Sunday morning," Claremont Police Chief Alex Scott said.

The stepped up patrols were a result of prior vandalism. This is not the first time the cemetery was targeted; 75 grave markers were toppled in July.

"There was a community forum last week that sprang up as a result of the incident early this summer," Scott said. "So, it was in the newspapers again and that may have possibly triggered a copycat incident or it could be the same individuals."

Most of the gravestones have been put back in place. But others, the burial spots for mothers and fathers, will never be the same. Several of the gravestones are beyond repair and with no living relatives that the city is aware of to pay for a replacement; they will more than likely remain this way.

"The community outcry from this type of vandalism is much more significant and understandably so when you are dealing with essentially sacred ground," Scott said.

"When you put your parents or whoever you have to put down, you want them to rest there," Vashaw said.

A peaceful place now the site of a senseless crime.

Residents are offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to a conviction in the case.

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