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Candia chief 'disgusted' by theft of 500-lb granite monument

CANDIA — Candia police are investigating the theft of a five-foot-tall, 100-year-old 500-pound granite obelisk grave monument taken from the Candia Village Cemetery last week.

Police Chief Mike McGillen said that the theft wasn't random because it required planning to pull off.

"You can't just pick this thing up, someone had to know what they were doing. It's pretty egregious, and I am pretty disgusted by it," McGillen said.

McGillen said that based upon tracks left at the scene, a truck with a outrigger equipped, which involves metal bars that go from the vehicle to the ground to stabilize it while lifting a weight, was used.

"(This crime) required experience, equipment and forethought," McGillen said.

McGillen said that, based upon his research, the granite monument is very valuable.

"It has very intricate stonework, and would be hard to replicate now," McGillen said.

Candia Cemetery Superintendent Jerry Becker said that the theft was discovered by a town employee Monday, Sept. 17, and likely happened over the weekend when less people were around.

"Somebody decided they need a monument more than we do. I am ticked off. Why would someone want to steal something like that? Leave other people's stuff alone, it doesn't belong to you," Becker said.

Becker said the marker was for the Colcord family. The cemetery, which is one of seven run by the town, is among first town cemeteries and has been open since the 1800s. The last of the six Colcords to be laid to rest at the site was in the 1920s.

"Now I am worried about the other stuff in the cemetery. Police have increased the frequency of their patrols by the area, but I am not sure if we can replace (the monument), I have to meet with trustees of cemetery to see what course of action we will take on this," Becker said.

Both McGillen and Becker said that they have never seen a theft like this before in their experience working with the town.

"I have never seen anything like this, there has been no other destruction like this at all," Becker said.

He added, "I am disappointed, why would someone want to steal something from someone's grave site? Karma is a funny thing, eventually they will get caught, but it really gets my blood boiling."

Along with the monument, McGillen said another smaller granite piece was also taken from a nearby grave.

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