Thief strikes COTR: Cemetery, cars destroyed during weekend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 11, 2002

The cold weather at last weekend’s Christmas on the River event may have slowed crowds, but it apparently didn’t slow criminals who looked to cash in on parking lots around town.

According to Demopolis Police reports, numerous cars were struck during the evening hours Saturday. And unfortunately for event organizers, most of the victims were out-of-towners.

In the parking lot behind the civic center, a Northport man reported a break-in of his car. Stolen was more than $300 worth of credit cards and cash. After damage to the car and electronic destruction, the visitor claimed damages of nearly $900.

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A visitor from Thomaston reported $200 worth of damage to her car and theft of a purse.

A Decatur woman reported $200 worth of damage to her Mercedes.

A man from Auburn filed a police report claiming $300 worth of damage to his car and the theft of $15.

A Coatopa man had damages totaling more than $600 during the evening hours on Saturday.

And a Demopolis woman reported nearly $600 worth of damage and theft on Saturday.

Car thefts weren’t the only problems during the weekend.

According to Police Chief Charles Avery, a car entered Riverside Cemetery and destroyed a number of headstones.

Avery isn’t sure what happened and said his office is investigating.

As for the car thefts, Avery said this is the first time in his 32 years of working during Christmas on the River that anything like this has happened.

Avery said there are no suspects in the Saturday crimes.

However, the chief does believe no more than a couple of people would have been involved in the break-ins.

During Christmas on the River festivities, the Demopolis Police Department had every available officer working in the city.