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VANDALS STRIKE AT GRAVEYARD

VANDALS STRIKE AT GRAVEYARD

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Century-old tombstones were found shattered Tuesday under the lights set up to protect a cemetery after vandalism in 1988.

Twenty of the older tombstones in the Pisgah ARP Church cemetery on Linwood Road were destroyed. During a Halloween rampage two years ago, 41 newer, larger tombstones were toppled and split.Another 15 stones were found damaged when church members surveyed the cemetery in July.

Police have no suspects in any of the incidents. Damage from the vandalism Tuesday is estimated at $10,000.

Police found a single beer can among the scattered, pitched-over ruins. One smaller headstone had been carried off and flung against a larger stone.

``It's not very often we have something like this,' said Gaston County police Capt. Billy Lytton. The Pisgah church never had been vandalized before the 1988 incident, according to church members.

``We don't know exactly what to do. What do you do?' said Henry Oates, the cemetery committee chairman. ``When the stone starts shattering and just crumbles, there's not much you can do. It's hard time just finding names on the stone.'

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