Thief Targets Veterans’ Graves At Chester County Cemetery
By Todd Quinones
WEST GOSHEN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – At a cemetery in Chester County, among the final resting place of some of America’s bravest sons, a thief has been lurking.
Sixty bronze veterans’ flag holders were stolen.
Concerned veteran Steven Soley came to check on his father’s grave. While in the Navy, Henry J. Soley, his son says, fought in World War II during the battle of Okinawa.
His marker was not stolen.
“To me it’s a desecration. It’s very dishonorable,” said Steven Soley.
There were dozens of veterans’ graves at St. Agnes Cemetery, where flag holders were gone.
Someone disturbed the graves of men like John Grabowiecki of the U.S. Navy, Henry Daignault of the U.S. Army, Robert A. Nelson a veteran of World War II and Hugh J. Clarke, a United States Navy veteran of World War II.
“For the families of the loved ones that died, they not only have to deal with the grief of losing a loved one, but you have to worry about people coming and stealing something from them,” Denise Dawson said.
She came to the cemetery on Pottstown Pike in West Goshen Township to check on her family.
“My father is buried here. He fought in Vietnam. My grandfather fought in World War II and my two great uncles fought in World War II. Luckily their markers are still here,” she said.
Police say families began to notice this week the bronze flag holders had been stolen. It’s possible the thief could try to sell them, so police have notified scrap yards in the area.
“Certain things you just leave alone and respect it. Especially the people that are buried and their families, their memories,” said Soley.