Each Brass Vase's Worth About $200, Police Alerted Local Recycling CentersBy John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities cemetery has become a target for thieves.

Sometime over the weekend, about 50 brass flower vases were stolen from grave sites at Evergreen Memorial Garden in Mahtomedi.

Investigators say each vase is worth about $200.

The cemetery is the final resting place for Jessica Rhinhart’s mom and grandparents. But instead of feeling peace and serenity while visiting on Tuesday, she’s feeling disrespected and hurt.

“I got out and I walked up, and that’s when I saw there were no vases,” she said. “Number one: It’s hard for me to come out here anyway, so I was sad…and then that was just on top of sad.”

The brass flower vases stolen were three of 48 taken from the cemetery. Washington County investigators believe those responsible could be trying to sell them to local recycling centers.

Whoever stole the vases purposely left the flowers behind.

“The last time this happened, my vase was taken,” said Diane Skjegstad.

She drove to the cemetery Tuesday to see if the flower vase at her son’s gravesite was taken. She said the same thing happened to several gravesites six years ago. This time the thieves left her son’s vase alone.

“Sick to my stomach…very sick,” she said. “I don’t know how people can do this to cemeteries?”

It’s the same question Rhinhart is asking.

“Right away, I thought somebody had to be so desperate,” she said. “And a part of me felt bad… to have the nerve to do that.”

Investigators said they don’t have any suspects right now and anyone with information is urged to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 651-430-7850  or email sheriff@co.washington.mn.us.

You can remain anonymous.


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