Graveyard thefts reported

MARQUETTE – Several alleged thefts from the West Branch Township Cemetery have left township residents stunned.

“I think it’s the worst thing in life,” said township clerk Michelle Christal. “It’s totally wrong. I don’t understand a mind that thinks they can just go steal off of a cemetery.”

According to Christal, at least three grave sites have seen thefts since the beginning of spring, with planted shrubs, solar lights and even a grave marker all being stolen.

The grave marker, Christal said, was a cement bench that doubled as a headstone.

Christal said 150 people are buried in the West Branch Cemetery, 40 of whom are veterans and that she was outraged by the alleged acts of thievery.

She said she hoped someone from the community would come forward to help catch the perpetrator or perpetrators.

“Nobody really bothers it, it’s a cemetery for crying out loud,” Christal said. “And it’s a very well-kept cemetery. We do take pride in our cemetery out here.”

The Marquette County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incidents and is asking anyone with information on the alleged thefts to call the sheriff’s office at 225-8435.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.