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6 Headstones Are Toppled At Jewish Cemetery In Melrose

Six headstones in total were vandalized. (Courtesy of Melrose Police Department)
Six headstones in total were vandalized. (Courtesy of Melrose Police Department)
This article is more than 2 years old.

Police in Melrose are searching for three suspects after six headstones were toppled at one of the state's oldest Jewish cemeteries.

Police were called to the Netherlands Cemetery at 3:15 a.m. Thursday for a report of young males vandalizing tombstones. A witness told police he thought the suspects he saw kicking over tombstones were teenage boys.

Mayor Robert Dolan says police are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime.

"This is a very upsetting and heinous crime," Dolan said, "[and] we hope our police department will be able to find those individuals responsible and hold them to account for what they've done."

According to police, the Netherlands Cemetery is the third-oldest Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts, and was founded in 1859 by a group of Dutch Jews. It contains about 475 internments, police said.

With reporting by WBUR's Ally Jarmanning

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