INDEPENDENCE TWP. (WWJ) – Two teenagers have been arrested and another is wanted by police after they allegedly caused nearly $55,000 worth of damages at a northern Oakland County cemetery.
The sheriff’s department says 17-year old Jonathan Matthews of Pontiac and 19-year old Michael Dickinson of Waterford Township are facing charges connected to the vandalism of 30 gravestones at Sashabaw Plains Cemetery in Independence Township, near Clarkston. The exact charges were not immediately disclosed.READ MORE: Ford Adding 450 Jobs To Meet Demand For New Electric Truck
Dickinson was arraigned Wednesday and was given a $20,000 bond. Police say he had an outstanding retail fraud warrant out of 52-2 District Court at the time of
Matthews is expected to be arraigned Thursday.
The vandalism was discovered last Friday. Several head stones were broken while others were scattered about the cemetery. Some of the grave markers are 200 years old. Damage is estimated at upwards of $54,499.READ MORE: Michigan TV Weatherman Out After Refusing To Get Vaccine
“It is unfathomable that anyone could commit a crime against those that have gone before us,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement. “Families often struggle to pay for gravestones that honor the life of a loved one and what these individuals did demonstrates that they have no regard or respect for life.”
Police say the teenagers were identified through tips they received following media attention to the case.
The incident remains under investigation.MORE NEWS: MDOT Update: Ramp Closures On I-94, I-275 As Part Of Rebuilding I-275 Project
Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact police at 248-858-4911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.