Vandals wreak havoc on cemetery |

Vandals wreak havoc on cemetery

F.T. Norton, Appeal Staff Writer
Rex Jennings volunteer for the Lone Mountain Cemetery stands next to the flagpoles in the Vets graveyard that were vandalized Tuesday night. Photo by Rick Gunn

Vandalism of the flagpoles in the veterans’ section of Lone Mountain Cemetery Tuesday night is the last straw, said cemetery volunteer Rex Jennings.

“This has been an ongoing problem out here. It’s just the icing on the cake,” a visibly agitated Jennings said Wednesday morning.

Sometime between 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and 7 a.m. Wednesday, vandals bent three of six flagpoles dedicated to the “men and woman who have honorably served and defended the freedom of our great nation.”

The poles are among graves of veterans of World War II and the Korean War. No grave sites or headstones were disturbed.

“These people don’t have any respect for the property out here. By doing this, the (vandals) have even dishonored any veterans in their own families,” said Jennings.

He said cemetery staff contends daily with destruction by vandals at the graveyard at Beverly and Roop streets.

From piles of empty beer cans to damaged headstones, equal time is spent cleaning up messes left by vandals and taking care of the graves, Jennings said.

“We have 80 miles of desert around here, but they come to teach their kids to ride a dirt bike or they decided to spin doughnuts in their trucks,” he said. “It’s ridiculous to use the cemetery for recreation.”

Tuesday night, vandals apparently shinnied up the 20-foot poles and use their body weight to bend the poles at their bases.

“It would have taken some force,” Jennings said. “These are 2 1/4-inch-thick galvanized steel.”

Damage to the flagpoles, donated in May 2001, is estimated at $2,000. A city parks ranger and deputy sheriff viewed the damage. Jennings said the deputy filed a report and asked the late-night patrol shift to watch for vandals.

At least one pole has to be replaced, but Jennings thinks he may be able to salvage the others.

“Why would someone do this?” he asked, looking down at gravestones with names of veterans. “So many of these guys are from Nevada. It’s maddening.”

— Anyone with information on Tuesday night’s vandalism is asked to call the Carson City Sheriff’s Department at 887-2020.