CANDIA — Police Chief Mike McGillen is asking for the public’s help in locating a 100-year-old granite monument tstolen last month from the Candia Village Cemetery.
McGillen said that the 500-pound monument, valued at more than $4,000, might already be on someone’s lawn, installed by an unscrupulous landscaper, and that the homeowner might not even know that it was stolen from a cemetery.
“We need to get some answers on this, and we are going to pursue all avenues and hopefully we get a good response from the public,” McGillen said.
McGillen said police are looking for a white utility truck that was seen exiting the cemetery shortly before the theft was reported.
“Someone over at the Candia General Store saw a medium-sized utility style truck leaving the cemetery prior to the theft. According to the witness, the truck had some kind of mechanical apparatus or perhaps a hoist on the end,” McGillen said.
He added that the truck described by the witness would potentially have an outrigger, which would fit marks left at the scene. An outrigger involves metal bars that go from the vehicle to the ground to stabilize it while lifting a heavy weight.
McGillen added that he has heard similar reports of granite theft at cemeteries from around the state, citing a recent report of four granite markers stolen from a cemetery in Somersworth.
News of the theft has left a bitter taste for some town officials.
“I think it is one of the saddest things people could do, steal off a cemetery. I think it is one of the lowest; how can you steal from the dead? I have never have heard of anything like this happening in our town,” Select Board Chairman Frederick Kelley said.