COLMA (CBS / AP) — Metal thieves looking to cash in on the rising value of copper and brass have swiped cables from subway tracks and wiring from utility poles. Now police say they’ve hit the cemetery in search of a quick buck.

Colma police said thieves stole brass and copper flower holders from more than 500 graves at the Cypress Lawn Memorial Park earlier this month.

Cmdr. Jon Read told the San Mateo County Times that thefts happened on two separate occasions.

The vases, which were chained to graves, were first noticed missing by maintenance crews.

Read says that while the 4,500 pounds of metal are worth about $4,500 to recyclers, they will cost about $87,000 for the cemetery to replace.

No arrests have been made. Police have alerted local recyclers to be on the lookout.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (6)
  1. my real name is Sam Mallory says:

    Simple….have all medals coming in to recycling centers be photographed and labeled to who turned them in along with CCTV.

  2. Tours Martel says:

    A clear sign that the economy is turning around and new business opportunities are being created by the President’s stimulus program.

    1. dbe says:

      YES WE CAN!

  3. dbe says:


  4. Susan Ward says:

    The exact thing has happened at Memory Gardens in Concord CA. If you look around you will see most of the vases stolen.

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