There have been two small thefts at a state-run cemetery, which prompted the I-Team to look into the incidents.
Since 2004, the I-Team has been tracking wasted taxpayer dollars in his series "You Bought It, They Lost It."
In the first of his latest round of reports Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Parker looked into thefts at the State Veteran's Cemetery in Middletown.
The State Veteran's Cemetery in Middletown has room on its nearly 25 acres for more than 16,000 burial plots. Those plots are all to honor those who honorably served our country.
But, a shed on the property where maintenance tools are kept was burglarized last year.
A form obtained by the I-Team shows they felt security was adequate even though someone broke into the shed and stole 4 Stihl line trimmers. A total of more than $2,000 in tools were taken from the shed.
But the form, which was dated March 11, does recommend that equipment be moved from the pad-locked shed to an internal garage. Apparently it didn't happen not within a month.
Because 30 days later, there was another theft from this same shed. Someone broke in and stole a $450 lawnmower.
Eyewitness News asked the Department of Veterans Affairs for an explanation. They told Eyewitness News the thefts happened during a busy phase in a big federally funded construction project to add capacity to the cemetery.
"These thefts occurred at the State Veterans Cemetery in Middletown during a time when we had a large active construction project that brought with it an increase in activity at the cemetery. The project, that was completed under budget and ahead of schedule, consisted of an addition of a 3,000 niche federally funded columbarium increasing the overall capacity at the cemetery to 15,000," Department of Veterans Affairs said in a statement to Eyewitness News.
Eyewitness News also asked if they have made any more changes since. They told Eyewitness News the gates are now double checked and patrols around the cemetery have been increased.
"Gates at the cemetery are now double checked and we have notified the Connecticut Valley Hospital Security and they have increased patrols in an effort to become a more visible presence on the outside of the cemetery," Department of Veterans Affairs said in a statement to Eyewitness News.
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