Police looking for vandals who damaged Beltsville cemetery - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Police looking for vandals who damaged Beltsville cemetery

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BELTSVILLE, Md. -

At the main entrance to the De La Salle Cemetery, the "Our Lady of Vocations" statue is missing a hand. Nearby, three headstones have been broken, with big chunks knocked off with a sledgehammer or some similar kind of instrument. That vandalism was reported on December 30.

Then on January 2 came a report of 13 to 15 headstones being overturned.

The cemetery is maintained by the Brothers of the Christian Schools. They are a Catholic community separate from the Archdiocese that runs the La Salle Hall retirement community for fellow Brothers. They teach at some area Catholic schools.

Brother John McErlean finds the vandalism troubling.

"I have no idea if they're young kids or young adults or somebody angry, I have no idea who it is," he says.

McErlean says they have had problems in the past with young people drinking in the cemetery. He says it is disheartening to see this kind of vandalism because any cemetery is sacred ground.

There are about 500 graves in the cemetery, and one of them belongs for the late Patrick Ellis, who was President of Catholic University from 1992 to 1998.

Police say they have no clues as to who might be responsible.

The Brothers are considering installing video surveillance.


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