By Talia Kaplan
St. Louis (KSDK)- Thieves are targeting a local cemetery and mausoleums and what they are taking may surprise you.
Police say thieves are stealing large, heavy doors off of mausoleums at Calvary Cemetery.
Ron Hagen's family members are buried there. His uncle's father was buried there since the 1950s his uncle's mother since the 1970s. Hagen says their burial site was untouched until now.
"The cemetery called us about two and a half weeks ago saying the door was stolen," said Hagen. Sure enough when he showed up, the heavy, ornate, bronze doors that once stood were gone.
"I saw this and a piece of artwork in St. Louis disappeared and the grave has been desecrated. It's disgusting," said Hagen.
St. Louis city police say this is one of two incidents they responded to at Calvary Cemetery over the past two weeks. They say it has been happening for years.
"It looks like it's become a rash or it's starting to become an epidemic," said Hagen.
A statement from a spokesperson with the Archdiocese of St. Louis says, "The Archdiocese of St. Louis can confirm that there have been occasional thefts in years past. It is a sad situation, one that is rare, but always unfortunate. We pray for the families of those who have been hurt by any crimes of this nature, as well as for those who are responsible. In light of this most recent vandalism, cemetery administrators have increased security on the grounds."
The cemetery says they hired a private security company and boarded up the entrances to mausoleums as a precaution. They are also looking into high tech, long term ways to solve the problem.