- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2016

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (AP) - Police are investigating a string of thefts that have occurred at St. Thomas Cemetery in Southington and are asking for the public’s help in catching those responsible.

Lt. Michael Baribault says marble statues adorning gravestones at the Meriden Avenue cemetery have been reported stolen as early as Jan. 8. The most recent thefts happened late Wednesday or early Thursday.

The statues depict religious figures such as the Virgin Mary. Baribault called their thefts “despicable.”

In an effort to catch the culprits, police have stepped up patrols in the area. Nick Melo, pastor of St. Thomas Parish, says the church has ordered gates for both entrances of the cemetery.

Melo says the thefts have all occurred in an older part of the cemetery next to a wooded area.

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