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Williamstown Police Looking into Cemetery Vandalism
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:28PM / Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The area of East Lawn cemetery that recently was targeted by vandals.


Sticks that once held American flags adorning graves at East Lawn Cemetery are disposed of in a trash can at the cemetery.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Police Department is investigating a vandalism incident at East Lawn Cemetery, Lt. Michael Ziemba said on Monday evening.
 
Visitors to the cemetery on Saturday discovered that a couple of dozen American flags on the graves of veterans and at least one member of the town's fire district were removed and the wooden flag sticks left behind.
 
"We are fairly confident based on the number of flags and the short time frame (Friday night) that this is not an animal," Zimeba wrote in response to questions about the incident.
 
"We have no motive, and there have not been any similar incidents in other cemeteries."
 
Ziemba said the WPD routinely checks on the town's cemeteries at night.
 
The department would like to hear from anyone "who may have seen something suspicious or who has any information about this incident," Ziemba said.
 
According to Massachusetts General Law, removal of "a tomb, monument, gravestone, American flag, veteran's grave marker, metal plaque, veteran's commemorative flag holder, commemorative flag holder representing service in a police or fire department, veteran's flag holder," is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
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