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Vandals destroy headstones, steal plaques from Compton cemetery

By Matthew Rodriguez

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    COMPTON, California (KCAL) — Vandals left a trail of destruction at a Compton cemetery after they destroyed dozens of headstones and stole plaques from multiple final resting places.

“This is not right, Woodlawn, we want love and peace,” owner Celestina Bishop said. “This is not peaceful this is not loving.”

Bishop, who funds the upkeep of the Woodlawn Celestial Gardens, discovered the shattered remains of many grave sites last Thursday. She believes that a team of culprits cut through a fence and started smashing grave markers. The vandals wanted the bronze from the tombstones in order to flip to recyclers.

“Why where? Why anywhere?” Bishop said. “This is supposed to be sacred land and people are supposed to be at eternal rest.”

The historic memorial park houses more than 900 veterans from as far back as the War of 1812 to Operation Desert Storm. Bishop claimed that the settlers of the city are also buried at Woodlawn.

“I realized today that my mother and my sisters have a bronze headstone,” Bishop said. “I told my husband my mom needs a new headstone because I’d rather be the one that picks it up than have someone destroy it.”

Bishop said the thieves also stole lawn equipment.

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