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No leads yet in case of stolen veterans markers

SMYRNA, Maine — The Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office has had no new developments in the theft of 46 veterans markers from the Smyrna town cemetery.

“We continue to follow leads as they are developed, but have not yet recovered the property or identified those responsible,” Sheriff Darrell Crandall said Friday.  “We would continue to ask anyone with information to let us know.”

Among the grave markers stolen from the Smyrna cemetery were some similar to this one honoring veterans who served in the Grand Army of the Republic during the Civil War.
(Contributed photo/Aroostook County Sheriffs Office)

The theft was first reported to police by Smyrna Town Manager Candy Nevers on Oct. 3 after a cemetery employee noticed the markers were missing. The theft occurred sometime between Oct. 1 and 3.

The bronze markers, along with the brass posts that held them in the ground, had been removed from 46 grave sites. Nevers said the markers cost about $97 each, or roughly $4,400 total to replace at cost.

The GAR markers – the Grand Army of the Republic – were for Civil War veterans and Spanish American War veterans and weighed 14.9 ounces apiece. The General Veterans Markers weighed 2 pounds, 4.2 ounces.

Nevers previously said she believes whoever stole the markers was likely selling or melting them down for the scrap metal value.

Veteran’s grave markers similar to this one were stolen from a cemetery in Smyrna in early October. (Contributed photo/Aroostook County Sheriffs Office)

According to an online scrap metal dealer, www.877ironmike.com/metal-prices, the scrap bronze, an alloy made mostly of copper, could be sold for about $1.65 per pound.

“The selectmen voted to accept donations to help defray the cost of replacing the veteran’s markers,” Nevers said Oct. 30. “All markers shall be replaced and any amount of the total needed not raised by donations will be in the 2018 budget. The markers will be replaced.”

Locally, the town has collected nearly $500 from donations. A “GoFundMe” page also has been created and as of Friday afternoon $375 had been raised of the $4,000 goal set forth by the town.

Crimestoppers will pay a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest. To report a tip, call 800-638-8477 or text 207-538-8477. Callers may remain anonymous.

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