The Norwood Police Department is working with town officials to investigate the theft of dozens of bronze flag holders at the graves of veterans buried at Highland Cemetery on Winter Street.
Reports of missing markers began coming in to Cemetery Superintendent Paul Ranalli in September, police said. Around that time, the town’s veteran’s agent, Ted Mulvehill, and the police were notified as well and began an investigation.
Police spoke with junk dealers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island about the incidents and advised them to look out for anyone trying to sell the markers as scrap. However, this past Monday, at least 25 more were gone.
Massachusetts General Laws state that removing a flag holder or any similar item from a grave or memorial is a felony and punishable by five years in prison.
The flag holders are typically solid bronze and mark graves of men and women who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, or Vietnam. They each cost about $40 to $50 to replace, but police say the scrap value is about $3 apiece.
Selectmen recently discussed the issue at a meeting and implored the public to keep their eyes out when walking or biking near the cemetery.
Police are also asking residents to stay vigilant when visiting the cemetery for anything or anyone suspicious. Anyone with information or who finds bronze flag holders discarded on or near their property should notify the Norwood Police Department at 781-440-5100
Natalie Feulner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.