Thieves are targeting veterans’ graves, stealing their medallions

Patton Cemetery in La Porte, Indiana. (Screenshot form Fox32 video below)

Veterans from both World Wars, Korea and even the Revolutionary War have become the targets of thieves in one small community in Indiana.

Since Memorial Day, more than 300 bronze stakes with veterans medallions placed at their graves have been stolen from cemeteries in La Porte, according to Fox 32.

“They were breaking them off for the bronze rods because they knew the medallions would be really hard to get somebody to take them,” said American Legion post commander Wayne Zeman.

The Legion is the organization responsible for honoring these veterans by placing flags on each of their graves.

“It’s bad enough robbing graves and robbing veteran’s graves of, like I said, in a lot of cases the only thing that notates it’s a veteran’s grave in the first place,” Zeman said.

Patton Cemetery is the most popular location targeted by the thieves and is considered the oldest cemetery in La Porte.

Some of the graves, stemming back to the revolutionary war, only have medallions to signify their service to the country in war.

“Some of them (medallions) are irreplaceable. I mean we can’t even get the ones for the Revolution and that any more. So when we replace one of those guys, we just put one that’s kind of a generic one,” Zeman said.

“If people are determined to steal, they will find a way. They will get in there when there’s nobody around and they will take anything of value. It’s really sad that these things happen,” said Air Force Veteran Ron Richie to Fox 32.

The local police have informed the scrap yard to be on the lookout for anyone attempting to sell the bronze stakes.

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