- Associated Press - Friday, May 22, 2015

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating a break-in at the office of the Marshalltown cemetery, which also has been hit with recent vandalism.

Thieves had broken into the offices of Riverside Cemetery sometime late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, shattering a glass door and prying open a dead bolt to gain entry, the Times-Republican (https://bit.ly/1AoQj3v ) reported.

Riverside General Manager Dorie Tammen said an antique ballot box was stolen and it had contained $50 in cash donations for a cemetery genealogy project.

“The thing that hurts us more than anything is the missing ballot box,” said Riverside board member Jay Carollo.

He said he had been working on the genealogy project until 9 p.m. Tuesday, and when he arrived at 8 a.m. the next morning, he found police on the scene. Police Capt. Brian Batterson said Thursday morning that investigators were still looking into the burglary.



Cemetery equipment has been vandalized over the last six weeks, with water had been put into a gasoline tank of a lawn mower. It’s currently being repaired.

“That is a hard loss - we have 94 acres to mow almost every week,” Tammen said.

Regardless, cemetery staff says they’re moving forward in preparing buildings and grounds for Memorial Day. They’re seeking more volunteers to help raise and take down flags.

___

Information from: Times-Republican, https://www.timesrepublican.com

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