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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Headstones were overturned by vandals at the Jewish Cemetery on Decatur Road. The vandalism of 60 markers and headstones was discovered on Monday.

Thursday, March 31, 2016 11:45 am

Jewish Cemetery struck by vandals

Jeff Wiehe | The Journal Gazette

Sixty tombstones knocked over. One broken in half and destroyed. Several others severely damaged. 

The Jewish Cemetery at  6224 Decatur Road was vandalized to the tune of $20,000 sometime in the past three weeks, and Fort Wayne police are now investigating leads as to who would topple grave markers. 

Cemetery officials found the headstones knocked over Monday and called police. In a report, officers counted 54 grave markers knocked over and one split in half. A statement Tuesday from the Fort Wayne Jewish Cemetery Association said about 60 were toppled with several sustaining severe damage. 

No graffiti or drawings were found, leading investigators to believe the vandalism was not aimed at the Jewish community. 

According to police reports, it appeared as though at least two people went through the cemetery kicking over the headstones. 

Officers at the scene found at least three shoe prints with at least two different shoe patterns and are analyzing those prints, according to police reports. 

Cemetery officials told police the last time someone from the Jewish Cemetery Association visited the grounds was Jan. 7. Cemetery officials are asking anyone who visited a loved one’s grave between Jan. 7 and Feb. 1 to contact cemetery President Dan Zweig at fwjewishcemetery@gmail.com.

"We are currently compiling a list of the markers and headstones impacted by the vandalism so that we can begin to contact family members if they are known," the statement from cemetery officials said. 

jeffwiehe@jg.net