Nearly 600 grave markers stolen from Compton cemeteries

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Thieves steal nearly 600 bronze grave markers from Compton cemeteries


Thieves steal nearly 600 bronze grave markers from Compton cemeteries

02:31

Cemetery owners in Compton have grown frustrated and are calling for their city to action after nearly 600 grave markers were stolen from Compton cemeteries. 

Celestina Bishop said local leaders have a moral obligation to help protect Woodlawn Celestial Gardens, one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles County and the final resting place for city founders and veterans dating as far back as The Civil War.

“The man who founded Compton, the city that you represent and stand for,” Bishop said. “Children are buried there.”

Bishop has owned the cemetery since the previous owner surrendered the license four years ago. Now, open week after thieves desecrated the park, she said only one council member has reached out to her.

“None of the representatives other than Mr. Bauers has come to the cemetery to see if they can help with a resolution or if there’s any assistance,” she said. 

When she got to Tuesday’s council meeting, the sign-up period to speak had closed, meaning she couldn’t address the council. However, Terrence Cumby was among a few concerned locals who did. 

“I can’t take it anymore,” he said. 

He urged the council to step up, suggesting they buy cameras to help with security. He said he wasn’t surprised the council had not taken any action yet. 

“When we had he takeovers coming, nothing was done,” Cumby said. “Gives other people the bright idea to come.”

The city council had not announced anything to help combat the cemetery thefts. 

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