Lansdale Mayor Garry Herbert says his administration has noticed that 56 military medals are missing from veterans’ graves at a community cemetery. The medals were stolen from Lansdale Cemetery in Montgomery County, PA. Police believe the thefts of the mostly bronze medals occurred between May 31 and July 11. It is unknown whether the theft occurred in one night or over a period of time.
“Currently there are no suspects. We are asking anyone that may have information about the theft of the Military Grave Markers to please contact the Lansdale Borough Police Department at 215-368-1801,” police said in a statement.
“It’s quite saddening that somebody would come through and take these markers, which denote people of service and valor in our community,” said the mayor. “We’re just saddened by the realistic result of someone taking these medals from their gravesite.”
Officials estimated the value of the medals to be around $400 and inferred they were stolen to be sold as scrap. “This is a first for Lansdale. Actually, most of the medals that were taken were quite old and had existed in the cemetery for quite a long time,” said Herbert.
Vietnam veteran Ivan Eibreim, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter that services the graves in Lansdale Cemetery, took notice of the missing medals. “We service that gravesite every year at Memorial Day, and when we put the flags out there, we noticed quite a few of them were missing,” he said.
The group is now fundraising in order to replace the stolen medals with plastic ones. “We can’t get the metal ones anymore because they steal them all the time,” Eibreim stated. He said they plan on fixing as many gravestones as they can on Veterans Day.