Melrose police seek 3 suspects after graves vandalized at Jewish cemetery

MELROSE, Mass. (WHDH)–  Melrose police are searching for three suspects who officials say were last seen Thursday morning knocking over six headstones in the Netherlands Cemetery.

Police said officers were called around 3:15 a.m. to the cemetery on Linwood Avenue after receiving reports of young men vandalizing the property.

Investigators spoke to a witness who said he saw three males, likely in their teens, kicking over tombstones and fleeing the scene in the direction of Malvern Street.

Police described one suspect as slender, white, about 5 feet 7 inches, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black backpack. The second suspect was described as slender, black, about 5 feet 7 inches, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and carrying a skateboard. The third suspect was described as white, with a heavy build, wearing a black t-shirt and glasses.

“Cemeteries are sacred grounds. Any malicious destruction is deeply saddening and must be given the full attention of law enforcement to bring the individuals responsible to account for this horrible act,” Melrose Mayor Robert Dolan said.

The Netherlands Cemetery, established in 1859, is the third-largest Jewish Cemetery in Massachusetts.

“We encourage all residents to report such acts and to work to cultivate a community of mutual understanding and respect,” Human Rights Commission Director Adam LaFrance said.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Melrose Police Department at 781- 665-1212.

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