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Local Businessman Pitches In To Replace Stolen Stars

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Not wanting to take too much credit, Peter Taunton says hundreds of others would have done the same thing.

“I just happened be the first one to pick up the phone,” he said.

Taunton, the Minnetrista, Minn. man who is the founder and president of Snap Fitness, is replacing more than 200 bronze stars that were stolen from the grave sites of Minnesota veterans buried in Isanti County.

“It never amazes me the poor judgement that some people exercise,” Taunton told WCCO’s John Hines Tuesday. “Whoever did it must have been obviously in a very bad place and very desperate.”

The stars were stolen from three cemeteries in Isanti County over the last month. The thieves likely stole the bronze markers to sell for scrap. No arrests have been made.

Taunton paid $7,000 to replace the stars. He says they are in the process of being manufactured and will be sent to Isanti County soon.

While Taunton was on with Hines, the daughter of one of the veterans whose star was stolen called in to say “thank you.”

The woman, who identified herself as Louise, said her dad was a Korean War vet who’s been buried in the cemetery for 29 years.

“That star has been there the entire time until this year, and now it was stolen. I just want to say thank you,” she said.

Taunton said it’s the least he could do.

“I’m really thankful to be in a position to help, so it’s my pleasure.”

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