MCHENRY (CBS) – Three youths have been charged with vandalizing two northwest suburban cemeteries, after allegedly knocking over dozens of headstones over the Halloween weekend.
The pair allegedly went on a vandalism spree at Woodland Cemetery and Saint Mary’s Cemetery in McHenry, toppling more than 50 headstones. Several stone vases also were split open and knocked to the ground.
Each of the three youths was charged with felony criminal damage to property over $300, as well as misdemeanor criminal trespass to land and criminal damage to property under $300, according to a release from McHenry police. Because of their ages, their identities were not released.
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“We’re talking desecration here and real disrespect, to not only those buried here but also their families,” said Deputy Chief Robert Lumber, McHenry Police Dept.
Woodland and St. Mary’s, which sit next to each other on the 1600 block of North Richmond Road in McHenry, both date back to the 1800s.
Some of the headstones that were vandalized are massive historical stones and towering monuments that stand more than 10 feet tall.
“There were others that were more circular-type of headstones that were actually pulled off of their foundations or pushed off their foundations, and rolled down the roadway,” Lumber said.
As officers worked to clean up the damage, it was clear more than one person was to blame.
“We had multiple officers trying to lift them,” Lumber said. “They were hundreds and hundreds of pounds.”
As police were investigating the graveyard vandalism, another wave of destruction hit McHenry.
Police also responded to more than 140 calls from residents complaining of broken car windshields in McHenry. Most of the damage was to rear windshields.
The Daily Herald reported that as many as 180 cars were damaged, since some homes had more than one car parked in the driveway.
“They would see one and then they would start to check the area, and they would see more and see more and see more of them,” said Lumber.
Officials do not believe the two instances are related.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.