Town offers reward after cemetery is vandalized

Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 1:58 PM EDT
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TOWN OF THERESA, N.Y. (WWNY) - The town of Theresa is in an uproar over vandalism at Oakwood Cemetery. Officials are asking for the public’s help in finding who’s responsible.

Many have been laid to rest in Oakwood Cemetery; some dating back to the late 1800s.

But over the past several months, their peace has been disrupted. Tombstones have been pushed over throughout the cemetery.

“There’s 20 or more we found out and we didn’t have a chance to really get up here because once we found out, less than a week later we got a couple snow storms that really covered everything up,” said Steven Marcinkowski, town supervisor.

He says as the snow melted, the town was able to assess the situation.

Officials decided to offer a $1,000 reward for anyone who brings forward information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

“This is just a travesty. I mean, this is heartbreaking. It has rocked the community. You know, it’s anger, it’s hurtful, it’s spiteful, it’s unacceptable,” said Marcinkowski.

It’s going to take some time and effort to get all of these tombstones fixed. But there is already a plan in place to do just that.

Town members reached out to A. Cozzi Monuments in Watertown to see if it can help.

Co-owner Laurie Koelmel says her crews are going up next week to repair them free of charge.

“It means a lot to us. We’ve been here a long time and we probably have done quite a few stones that we are putting back up and it is important for us to have them up and right,” she said.

Marcinkowski says anyone with information can call the town office or email them at

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