MICHIGAN CITY — Police are investigating after dozens of headstones and statutes were vandalized at St. Stanislaus Cemetery.
Michigan City police received a call about the criminal mischief at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
St. Stanislaus Cemetery staff told police they discovered about 50 grave headstones and statues were knocked over or damaged when they arrived that morning at the cemetery, 1015 Johnson Road.
A portion of the perimeter fence was also damaged in the incident.
Immediately upon hearing this information, Police Chief Mark Swistek sent additional officers to this area, including the nearby Greenwood Cemetery, to assess any other damage.
"With this ill-fated occurrence, it appeared to be a random act of vandalism that was completely irrational," Police Sgt. Chris Yagelski said in a news release.
With the help of the Indiana State Prison Community Service work crew and maintenance staff of the police department, Michigan City Police "began vigorously attempting to right a wrong," Yagelski said.
"All stones were then lifted and placed back on the adjoining bases. In the end we discovered some minor damages to stones, and some small statutes and markers that could not be repaired," according to the news release.
Cemetery mischief is taken very seriously, police said.
Anyone who disturbs, defaces or damages a cemetery monument, grave marker, grave artifact, grave ornamentation or cemetery enclosure, commits cemetery mischief — a Class A misdemeanor.
The charge becomes a level 6 felony if the loss is more than $2,500, police said.
Anyone with information regarding this act can contact the Michigan City Police Department at 219-874-3221.