Police have said that just about any metal object is susceptible to begin taken, from heat pumps to catalytic converters, manhole covers, air conditioners and grates from car washes.
A Pennsylvania man was charged in November with stealing more than $40,000 worth of bronze vases from Rest Haven Cemetery on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Some of the vases were recovered, but not all could be traced to the owners, said Rest Haven Cemetery President Charles Brown.
On Nov. 1, a Hagerstown man was sentenced to 23 years in state prison after a Washington County Circuit jury found him guilty of stealing copper and other metals from a vacant furniture business.
Ronnie Eugene Domer, 41, formerly of 277 S. Potomac St., Apt. 3, was convicted of second-degree burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property.
During a two-day trial there was testimony that Domer and accomplices used walkie-talkies to communicate and look out for police during an Oct. 12, 2011, burglary at the former Statton Furniture building on East First Street, Assistant State’s Attorney Michele Hansen said.
Damage to the building totaled about $100,000 and police believed it had been burglarized more than once.
In May, Michael Steven Bray of Smithsburg was given a three-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution in connection with the theft of 200 pounds of copper wire from a Potomac Edison substation at Maryland 64 and Bikle Road in Smithsburg.
The wires were used to ground the facility and a Potomac Edison Co. spokesman said such a theft poses a threat of electrocution.
Authorities in West Virginia said in October that four people had been charged in the theft of more than 400 pounds of copper wire from multiple electrical power substations in Berkeley County since August.
— Dave McMillion
Oct. 1 — The tombstones of an infant and World War II veterans were among about a dozen grave markers that were vandalized recently at the cemetery across the street from Manor Church of the Brethren near Boonsboro.
Pastor Joy Zepp said at the time that she received a call on the morning of Oct. 1 notifying her that vandals had pushed over the headstones.
“I’m disgusted,” she said during an October interview. “I don’t understand why people have to destroy other people’s property.”
About 12 tombstones, including those marking the graves of World War II veterans and an infant who died in 1918, were lying on the rain-soaked ground. Some of the markers were so old that the lettering had worn away over time.
Cemetery caretaker Heather Gossard said the cemetery dates to the 18th century. She said the graveyard no longer belongs to the church, but is owned by a mixture of church members and others who bought shares in the property.
She said a member of the congregation discovered the vandalism, which is believed to have happened between Sept. 26 and Sept. 30.
Most of the headstones that were damaged had been pushed over. But the grave marker of the infant was broken in half.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carly Hose said no one had been apprehended as of Dec. 20.