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Vandals wreak havoc in Cloquet cemetery

Vandals caused significant destruction yet again over the holiday weekend at Old Calvary Cemetery near Pinehurst Park in Cloquet. This time, 18 grave stones were knocked down and damaged, according to Cloquet Police Detective Darrin Berg. "Grave ...

Vandals caused significant destruction yet again over the holiday weekend at Old Calvary Cemetery near Pinehurst Park in Cloquet.

This time, 18 grave stones were knocked down and damaged, according to Cloquet Police Detective Darrin Berg.

"Grave sites on both the east and west sides of Chestnut Street had probably what will amount to the thousands [of dollars] in damage," Berg said.

The most recent occurrence was reported at 9 a.m. on Labor Day and police are investigating the incident. It isn't known yet whether this incident is connected to two similar crimes in May and July.

Shortly before Memorial Day, vandals caused widespread damage in the cemetery, toppling 17 headstones and smashing glass bricks on the side of the burial vault building.

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The caretaker said this was the most damage the cemetery had ever sustained, to his knowledge.

In early July, the cemetery was hit again and after the police received a tip, three girls, all 14 and all of Cloquet, were interviewed and admitted to causing damage at Old Calvary Cemetery, according to Terry Hill, Cloquet Police deputy chief.

The three were criminally charged in July in those incidents. One of the girls, who reportedly took part in both incidents, is facing a felony charge of one count of felony damage to property and one count of gross misdemeanor illegal molestation of cemeteries in the May case. The others face gross misdemeanor charges, Hill said.

Similar vandalism occurred in Old Calvary and the adjoining cemetery in November 2006, and two episodes of widespread damage to headstones and grounds were reported in Hillside Cemetery in Carlton in May 2006 and again that same June.

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