Thieves targeted a historic cemetery in downtown Torrington where a high-priced lawn mower and thousands of dollars worth of equipment were stolen from the all-volunteer staff.
Police are looking for an about $8,000 lawnmower that was stolen from a shed at the Torrington Center Cemetery early last week.
"It was the big Ferris machine, plus a backpack leaf blower, $400-500, brand new, weed whackers," said Fletcher Waldron, who is the superintendent at the cemetery. "They took everything they could."
The staff does not know what it is going to do next after the theft.
"That big machine is life and death to us down here, because with 10 acres, you can cover it a lot faster than you can with a little putt-putt machine," Waldron said.
Someone broke into the shed on the property a few weeks ago, but were unsuccessful, Waldron said.
"They came, they stole, and got out," said Waldron, who has volunteered at the Torrington Center Cemetery for the past 25 years. "I don't know who would want to do this."
The cemetery, which dates back to 1830, is home to some of the city's most famous families, including Charlotte Hungerford, who Torrington's hospital is named after.
Waldron told Eyewitness News the only other time they at the Torrington Center Cemetery had trouble was about 15 years ago when three teens were caught after toppling over about 300 headstones.
As for the thefts, Waldron said because the shed is unattended, there's no lights, and it's on a private road, it's hard to get insured.
Waldron added the cemetery is now considering installing an iron gate.
"They knew what they were doing. Where they were from who knows. I'd like to get them," said Waldron, who was visibly upset. "I'd probably hang them from one of the trees, because they've damaged it, damaged a defenseless cemetery."
The investigation is ongoing. If anyone has any information, you are asked to call Torrington Police at 860-489-2000.
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