Grave robbers have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens, Queens. What exactly are these thieves taking? Bronze vases.
The cemetery's superintendent, Phillip Rash-Flynn, said it's been happening for a decade. He said when he was working security several years ago, "Sometimes there would be blocks of vases missing."
Rash-Flynn explained that some nights thieves would take up to 50 vases. "You could tell it was fresh, because I would do the same route the night prior and in the morning there would just be dirt and a broken chain."
In 2011, the cemetery spent $51,019 to replace the stolen vases.
Since then it has changed its policy and now the grave owners are responsible.
New security measures have helped catch one thief, however, the problem has continued.
Rash-Flynn said 30 vases were stolen last month.