Vandals attack Jewish cemetery, destroy over 100 tombstones

Vandals destroyed hundreds tombstones at a Jewish cemetery in the St. Louis area at some point over the weekend, leaving behind a chaotic mess that required crane trucks to fix.

TIME reports that over 100 headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in University City, Missouri, were destroyed by what appears to be vandals. Police haven’t confirmed if the act was a hate crime, but it was likely carried out by an organized group. On Tuesday, workers spent most of the day trying to clean the cemetery up, bringing in several crane trucks to uplift heavy tombstones.

Phillip Weiss, the owner of a monument company that helped lift the heavy tombstones, told CNN that numerous people kept stopping by the Chesed Shel Emeth Society, some out of sheer curiosity and others who worried that their loved ones’ tombstones were destroyed.

“A lot of people are coming out (to the cemetery) — they’re just interested to see, ‘Was their loved one’s monument affected by this?'”

Police, so far, remain mum about the tragedy, although they did confirm that investigators are currently reviewing security footage in and around the cemetery. The vandalism came at a time when bomb threats against Jewish communities spread throughout several areas of the nation. So far, there’s no indication as to whether the vandalism is related.

Chesed Shel Emeth Society was created in 1893. It’s a well-known burial place for the local Jewish community in the area.

The story is still developing. Check back for updates.