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Forest Cemetery damage continues with vandals breaking into mausoleum

Vandals broke into this mausoleum on July 27th at the Forest Cemetery (WNWO).

Forest Cemetery, located at 1704 Mulberry Street, is the oldest municipal cemetery in Toledo.

This summer, it has seen a lot of destruction.

"Right now, we're estimating thousands and thousands of dollars of damage. The investigation is still ongoing, so we don't have an exact number yet, but it is incredibly disturbing, the lack of respect being shown for the remains of the deceased," said Toledo Police Sgt. Kellie Lenhardt.

There have been more than 50 headstones knocked over, with some of them still on the ground.

Now, there's more vandalism.

Toledo Police say someone broke into a mausoleum on July 27th.

The Burdick Peckham mausoleum that was broken into was built in the early 1800s.

City Council Member Larry Sykes personally checked out the site.

"I looked around and there were fireworks that somebody had set off. They had defaced the tomb, 'I love so and so,' it's just unacceptable."

He says someone got inside and opened up the casket.

The coroner's office had to be called because the remains had been messed with.

TPD says there have been some interviews conducted, but won't confirm if there are any suspects.

They have sent more officers around the area.

"We have increased officers in the area. We encourage officers to have non-confrontational contacts with civilians that they might see out walking around. We certainly encourage anybody who sees something that they might even feel is suspicious to call Crime Stopper with any type of tips," said Sgt. Lenhardt.

The city is weighing its options on how to protect the community's cemeteries.

"It was serious when someone kicked over a tombstone. Now, someone has broken into a mausoleum. The mayor is taking this very seriously. We're looking at other ways to try and secure the cemeteries so that this doesn't happen again in the future," declared City Spokesman, Ignazio Messina.

Sykes had some strong words for whomever is behind it.

"It says that they have no soul. They're heartless and they're very immature. They don't understand what they're doing."

Toledo City Council is offering a $10,000 reward if your information leads to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stopper.

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