Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Lara Croft imitators they are not -- modern tomb raiders are not seeking what is inside of the graves; instead, they want the containers and ornaments, especially if they are metal.
According to Oren Dorell, Thieves loot cemeteries for metal, USA Today, Aug. 18, 2008:
Ghouls have made a resurgence in cemeteries throughout the United States, prying plates and ornaments from headstones and selling them to scrap yards.
A rise in metal prices is driving the thefts, detectives say. Prices for copper, brass and bronze — metals that are commonly found in cemetery remembrances — have in some cases quadrupled in price in the past four years.
Because the metals can be hammered out of shape, the thefts are virtually untraceable. * * *
Police want stronger laws to fight the problem. This year, 25 states introduced bills to regulate or increase penalties for violations related to scrap metal reprocessing and theft, the National Conference of State Legislatures says. Maryland state Sen. John Astle, a Democrat, has proposed a law that would force scrap dealers to report each sale and seller.