FERNDALE - Five people have been arrested in connection with the theft of more than 100 bronze graveside vases from Greenacres Memorial Park, after turning in the vases for money at local metal recyclers, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.
Cemetery manager Brian Flowers described the theft of as many as 170 vases - integrated into grave markers so loved ones can leave flowers - as "heartbreaking and infuriating."
"Myself and everyone who works here very much views their work as a sacred trust, and this is a despicable violation of that sacred trust," Flowers said.
Flowers noticed in early February that some of the vases were missing from the cemetery, located at 5700 Northwest Drive. The thieves took them in several trips rather than all at once.
The vases are generally valued between $170 and $200 each, according to court documents filed in Whatcom County Superior Court, and they are purchased by the family of the deceased. Deputies have recovered 99 of the stolen vases, but Flowers said he wants to make sure more security measures are in place before they're brought back to the graves.
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