64 Headstones Knocked Over at Toppenish Cemetery
TOPPENISH, Wash.--A final resting place becomes a target for vandalism.
More than 60 headstones in the Toppenish Elmwood Cemetery were knocked over, costing the city around a $1,000 to fix.
"It's a two way thing," said Lance Hoyt, the Public Works Director for the City of Toppenish. "Not only does it cost money to do it, it takes away from the other duties that we can be doing."
Not only does the vandalism take money out of taxpayer's pockets, it's also emotionally damaging.
"This is something that's pretty dear to us," said Chief Adam Diaz of the Toppenish Police Department. "I mean, we all have relatives and family members and friends that have been put to rest."
"It's a family thing," said Hoyt. "It's very emotional. These are someone's loved ones, and it's just basically disrespectful."
The community is not taking this lightly, and that's why Crime Stoppers got involved. Anyone with information can call, text or email a tip and remain anonymous.
"This is one of those crimes that somebody is definitely going to tell somebody, but they worry that somebody's going to come after them for speaking," said Dave Purcell, the President of Yakima County Crime Stoppers. "Our program is totally anonymous so consequently nobody knows who turned in that tip."
"We hope that through Crime Stoppers and through the local businesses, we're able to at least maybe make it lucrative enough that someone will step forward and do the right thing," said Chief Diaz.
The City of Toppenish and Crime Stoppers are both offering cash rewards for any information that leads to an arrest. Crime stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to a $1,000, and the city is offering their own separate reward up to $2,000.