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Ortonville cemetery vandalized



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June 02, 2010 - Groveland Twp.-Jack Gabbard, Ortonville Cemetery sexton for the past nine years, said that sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning vandals damaged a cemetery office window, a mercury light, and other parts of the structure. About $2,500 in damages were reported.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police, Groveland Post responded to the call.

"There's really very little of value in the office or garage," said Gabbard, a township resident. "But worse than breaking in the garage is the damage we've had to the graves over the past year."

Gabbard said that families of the deceased are reporting planted flowers, as well as small statues, solar lights and large figurines, have been removed from the grave sites.

"I guess people would sell those figurines at garage sales, I just can't see a whole lot of value. We don't always hear about what's missing—some people think the maintenance crew removes items—we don't. Many people come in here and really make the graves look nice. I hate to see anything damaged."

Gabbard, who also has family buried at the Ortonville Cemetery, said vandals dug up flowers from his relatives' graves.

"My sister planted flowers three times and someone dug them up and just walked out with them."

"That has to be the lowest of the low-life. Those individuals are stealing from the dead."

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