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Reward offered for information about vandalized Ukrainian tombstones

tombstones vandalized.jpg
Posted at 4:54 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 03:08:50-05

DUNDALK, Md (WMAR) — A reward for information is now being offered after over 60 Ukrainian graves were vandalized at a Dundalk cemetery last week.

It happened at the St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church cemetery, the final resting place for hundreds of people dating back to the 1800s.

“They [tombstones] are thousands of dollars and you got these people coming out here and doing this? It’s disgusting,” said John Bentkowski, who has family buried there.

“It’s uncalled for. Am I supposed to stand guard here?” said George Iwashko, whose wife and son are buried there.

Baltimore County Police got the report Wednesday afternoon, just hours before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Community members believe it was a hate crime.

“This is unfortunately something connected with what’s going on over on the other side of the world because the last time we had this kind of vandalism was around the time Crimea was overtaken,” said Iwashko.

Although it’s completely fenced in, with a front gate, the cemetery has seen vandalism before.

“At one point, you had to have a key to get in here because one time they were painting swastikas all over the road,” said Bentkowski.

Metro Crime Stoppers has put out a $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. Governor Hogan said the State will match that reward.

The church is working with police to identify all the families impacted, and repair the grave sites.