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Thieves steal grave markers from historic cemetery

September 19, 2013|By Veronica Rocha
  • A new lock is in place on the gates at Grand View Memorial Park after three grave markers were stolen this week.
A new lock is in place on the gates at Grand View Memorial Park after three… (Raul Roa / Glendale News…)

Three bronze grave markers were stolen and two others were uprooted this week from the cemetery grounds at Grand View Memorial Park.

A volunteer reported Wednesday morning that someone had cut open a padlock on the cemetery’s main gate in the 1300 block of Glenwood Road and entered the facility, according to Glendale police. The break-in occurred sometime between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, police said.

At first, the volunteer told police that though the front gate was open, nothing inside the cemetery appeared to have been tampered with or damaged.

Hours later, she called police again to report that three bronze grave markers, which she valued at approximately $2,000 each, had been stolen.

The volunteer also noticed that another two bronze grave markers had been displaced.

Attorney David Baum, who represents the cemetery’s operator, Moshe Goldsman, said he had no additional information about the break-in and stolen grave markers.

“The front gates appeared to have been unsecured, so we reported it to the police and we're investigating what might have happened,” he said.

Similar thefts were reported in 2007 at Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Whittier, where more than 80 bronze markers were stolen and sold as scrap metal, according to news reports.

Grand View Memorial Park has been the subject of protracted legal problems.

In 2010, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge approved a $3.8-million settlement of a lengthy class-action lawsuit against the cemetery, according to Times Community News.

The lawsuit was filed after a 2005 state investigation found that the remains of 4,000 people had not been properly disposed of or buried. A year later, the cemetery shut down and reopened with a new operator, but closed again because of financial struggles.

The settlement included restoration of cemetery grounds after they fell into a state of disrepair.

While public access to the cemetery has been limited for years, friends and family are allowed to visit the graves of loved ones from noon to 4 p.m. every Sunday.

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veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Rocha writes for Times Community News.

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