austin
3:39 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Cops Looking For People Who Vandalized Austin Cemetery

Someone walked through Austin Memorial Park Cemetery last night kicking over gravestones and smashing amenities like a park bench, according to Austin police and Austin Parks and Recreation.

Preliminary estimates peg the damage at $20,000, according to Parks and Rec spokesman Victor O'Valle. He said about 25 gravestones were damaged.

"I think the emotional damage is probably the greatest damage that those vandals are causing," O'Valle told KUT News. "A lot of people spend their hard earned money to provide memorials for their loved ones."

O'Valle said Parks and Rec is not responsible for replacing the headstones because they are private property. But he said the department is working with a management company to repair some and put them back in place.

The destruction was random and did not appear to target gravestones of any religion or ethnicity, O'Valle said.

Police have no suspects and are hoping someone comes forward with information. They're asking people to call APD's Northwest detectives at 512-974-5484, or just dial 9-11.

The Austin Parks Foundation says the city bought Austin Memorial Park in 1941 and that it has more than 18,500 burials.

Here's a map showing where Austin Memorial Park Cemetery is located.

View Larger Map