ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local Albuquerque cemetery is under what staff is calling “an attack” after it once again was vandalized. A trail of destruction led Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery Manager Josh Glass from one corner of the cemetery to the other.
“It’s terrible to have to tell a family that someone came onto the park and did this,” said Glass. Flowers and small gifts from loved ones were all ripped up and stolen from gravesites.
Trash cans were dumped over, spilling all over the grounds. “It’s a real shame. A lot of our families come out here regularly,” said Glass.
Cemetery officials believe the man responsible is homeless. They say after he made a mess around the cemetery grounds, an employee found him inside the maintenance office where he had broken in. That’s when they called the police. “Just trashed the entire office,” said Glass.
Soon after, families of loved ones found out about the vandalism on Facebook. Sara McQuarie assumed the worst. Her mom is buried inside the park.
“Not only did they violate the cemetery which is bad in itself, but they violated each family,” said McQuarie. Luckily, that grave and no other gravesites were damaged. Still, she says it’s a frustrating sight.
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“It’s concerning this is where the crime has led to,” said McQuarie. For cemetery officials, it’s a daily distraction. “We need to be focused on our families, on our services, on maintaining the park,” said Glass. Glass says it’s turning into a never-ending battle.
“It does happen often with our homeless problem here in Albuquerque most of the decisions we make about the park are made with the homeless in mind and how they will interact with us,” said Glass. “It keeps me up at night worrying about what goes on here in the evening.”
KRQE News 13 reached out to the Albuquerque Police Department and they told us someone was picked up from that location Monday morning but right now that’s all they can confirm.