A thief in the night is still a thief
How many of you remember that thought-provoking question, "If a tree falls in the woods with no one there to hear it, will it still make a sound?" One has to wonder if that sort of justification is what goes on in the minds of people who thrive o...
How many of you remember that thought-provoking question, "If a tree falls in the woods with no one there to hear it, will it still make a sound?"
One has to wonder if that sort of justification is what goes on in the minds of people who thrive on committing acts of senseless vandalism.
Throughout this past spring and summer, countless reports of stolen or destroyed cemetery boxes have, and continue to be, reported in area cemeteries.
The scenario is often the same - after putting considerable thought, care and work into planting and/or placing a memorial planter on a loved one's grave, the family returns a few days later to find that planter missing or torn apart. It's a devastating blow, emotionally if not always financially, for those who felt moved to offer a heartfelt gesture in memory of a family member, friend or veteran.
There seldom is any answer to why this was done, or who did it. That's because the thoughtless vandals come during the night - no doubt in the presence of a group of others, bent on demonstrating an ill-conceived sense of daring in order to bolster a "macho" image in front of their friends.
Somehow, by performing such an act by night, using anonymity as a cloak, such vandals seem to justify those acts as merely "pranks" rather than crimes, only resulting in a good laugh and nothing more.
Well, think again. Under Minnesota State Statute 307.08, Subdivision 2, removing or defacing cemetery boxes or other such adornments is considered a criminal act of theft and/or destruction of personal property. If caught, the vandal will be charged with a gross misdemeanor in a court of law, and if convicted, he or she will face fines of up to $3,000 and 90 days or more in jail. If caught in the cemetery after stated operating hours, the person or persons will also be charged with trespassing.
And if that's not enough to dissuade such thoughtless actions, consider this.... Though a fine can be paid and the court satisfied, a guilty conscience is something that can stay with you for a long, long time - possibly, even, to the grave.