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Seven youths charged for damages at cemetery in Mitchell

Police said 61 headstones were damaged at St. Vincent de Paul cemetery last week. Public assistance helped OPP find the suspects
2022-08-29-opp general
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) logo. PHOTO/OPP

Perth OPP have arrested and charged seven youths after investigation of damages to 61 headstones at St. Vincent de Paul cemetery in Mitchell. 

The accused range in age from 13 to 17. Five of them are from West Perth, while the other two are from Stratford and Huron East. 

All are charged with two counts each of mischief over $5,000.

On January 4 just before 9:45 a.m., Perth OPP responded to a mischief call at a Nelson Street address after a concerned citizen contacted police.

The extensive damages to the Catholic cemetery left the community disappointed. Not long after the incident, West Perth Mayor Walter McKenzie told StratfordToday that he had conversations with residents and ratepayers, who were dismayed that anyone would damage headstones.

"It's really sad, it just makes no sense," he said of the damages. 

Accused are scheduled to appear at Ontario Court of Justice in Stratford at a later date. Because they are under the age of 18, their identities have not been released and are protected under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). 

Perth County OPP thanked the public for their assistance.

"Members of the Perth County OPP detachment worked tirelessly to follow up with information received from the public, to ensure that those responsible for this senseless act of mischief were identified, arrested and charged. I hope that with these arrests, those directly affected by the damaged memorials, and the entire community, can begin to recover from the distress that this has caused," said Acting Insp. David Sinko.

Paul Cluff

About the Author: Paul Cluff

Paul has lived in Stratford for a few decades and covered it all as a journalist - from the courtroom to the basketball court. The Festival City resident is looking forward to building the Village Media presence as Editor of
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