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Police capture man suspected of cemetery vandalism

ST. LOUIS - A cemetery was vandalized in south St. Louis, police believe they have the man responsible in custody.

St. Louis Police were called out to Concordia Cemetery in Bevo Mill around 10:30 Wednesday morning when a witness saw a man destroying headstones and stealing metal vases.

“I’m sure the family would be upset to see it too,” says neighbor Maureen Thomas-Murphy.

Police didn’t go into specifics about the amount of damage, but Fox 2 saw at least two headstones broken off and the damage appeared to be fresh.  Flowers were also scattered across the ground nearby.

“I know it costs a lot to put things back and so it is kind of sad that people want to come and destroy property like this,” she says.

Police say after a short foot chase, they took a 40-year-old man into custody and they recovered multiple vases.

Since the day Concordia Cemetery was established back in 1845, it’s founders declared on a marker, “We shall preserve this hallowed ground that our departed should rest in peace.“

This destruction comes as a disappointment to many.

“I cannot say that I’m surprised. We’ve lived here going on 25 years and we’ve seen it a few times but it’s still a drag,” Mike Murphy, a neighbor.

“It is one of the places that you think would be sacred, but you don’t know what’s going through people’s heads,” says Thomas- Murphy.

Charges are expected in this case. Once they are filed, the 40-year-old man will be identified.