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Headstones dating to 1800s damaged at San Luis Obispo cemetery

jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Vandals have damaged several historical headstones at San Luis Cemetery, San Luis Obispo police said Monday.Police are looking for the persons who broke several headstones into pieces between late afternoon Sunday and Monday morning at the cemetery at 2890 S. Higuera St.

Other headstones were knocked over but undamaged. They ranged from about 6 feet to 10 feet tall.Several of these headstones stood in place weathered, but undamaged, for 150 years. Some dated to the 1800s and early 1900s.

Police say the crime could be a prank connected to Halloween.

San Luis Obispo Police Department Lt. Keith Storton said the nature of crime is unusual and “disturbing,” regardless of any connection to Halloween.

Because of the age of the gravesites and limited records, it will be difficult to locate family members to notify them of the damage to the memorials of their loved ones, Storton said. The estimated damage has been put at $20,000.Officers collected evidence at the scene that might help identify suspects.

Even so, police encourage anyone with information on the incident to call investigators at 781-7312 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 549-STOP.

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