Theft is a shameful act, but theft from the deceased is beyond shameful, it’s unthinkable! According to several anonymous Newcomerstown residents there has been report of several grave saddles, and decorations recently being taken from both the West Lawn and East State Street Cemeteries. One of the residents said that she had discovered her family’s grave saddle missing two weeks ago, shortly after she had purchased it. The grave saddle was valued at over $100. The residents reportedly all had taken time to check through the cemeteries after they discovered their decorations missing in the event that the wind had displaced the items, and maybe had been placed on the wrong graves. Each of the residents said that their decorations were not found. Cemetery officials had also later assisted in the search of the reported missing decorations, but also were unsuccessful in locating any of the missing items. The thefts may have started earlier than thought as one resident said that she had a special wreath designed for Christmas and the wreath’s expensive silk red poinsettias were later discovered to have been removed and replaced with blue flowers of a lesser value. Her family’s grave is reportedly located in the East State Street Cemetery.

The theft was discussed at the recent village council meeting and measures are being taken to facilitate in the apprehension and prosecution of the individual(s) that are responsible. According to further reports the camera that is currently in the cemetery at West Lawn had identified several vehicles that were noted in the cemetery at times just prior to the discovery of the missing decorations. The camera’s film is reportedly being investigated to further attempt to identify the license plates of the vehicles that are now under suspicion. Council also are planning to place several more cameras with high resolution. The cameras will be monitored during each shift at the police department. Council members said that if individual’s are identified as being involved in the thefts that the village will insist of prosecution to the fullest extent.

Any residents noticing automobiles, and/ or individuals being in the cemeteries after dusk are encouraged to contact the police department as soon as possible.

The village has also recently approved a cemetery committee who will over-see the operation and maintenance of the cemeteries.

Other information discussed during the village’s May 20 regular council session included:

Jody Salvo, Tobacco Twenty-One program presented information to council regarding their goal to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco and vaping devices from eighteen to twenty one years old.

Council approved the hiring of four lifeguards at Cy Young Park Pool pending their completion of the required certification. The planned lifeguards for this season are Gavin Weaver, Bailey Lower, Noah Gano and Brianna Walkup.

Pool passes for the new season are available for purchase at the Newcomerstown Village office in the municipal building. The passes are the same price as last year.

Council approved handicap parking request for a First Street resident.

Council approved an executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken.