By: Amanda Pitts

alpitts@abc6.com

@APittsABC6

ACUSHNET, M.A. (WLNE) -- Police are investigating after a cemetery in Acushnet was vandalized. More than a dozen gravestones were toppled over and decorations were destroyed.

Vandals snuck into the cemetery sometime Wednesday night or Thursday morning, toppling 18 gravestones in total.

Groundskeeper Robert Rodrigues first saw the destruction early Thursday morning.

"I was gonna do some work in this area and I noticed all the stones, about 18 stones were knocked over."

Gravestones were toppled from their bases, eternity candles, statues, and vases all destroyed. Rodrigues said in his 13 years at the cemetery, he's seen nothing like this happen there.

"I don't know who would in their right mind come and do this. You know, there's no purpose doing this to a cemetery."

Families stopped by throughout the day to check on the graves of their loved ones, everyone shocked that someone would do something like this.

Mark Bergeron of Dartmouth was one of the lucky ones. His mother-in-law's grave was untouched, even though it's located in the row that was targeted.

"I was glad that hers wasn't but everybody else is and it's the same feeling. You feel bad for the other people because it could have very easily have been hers."

Patricia Dancosse wasn't so lucky. Her son's grave was one of the ones toppled over.

"It's horrible. I sat at my desk sobbing when I saw the pictures this morning."

His gravestone has since been picked up by crews, but angel statues that Dancosse put at the grave were destroyed.

"When they're gone, this is the only thing you can do for them. That someone would come and interfere with that, smash things and disrespect them, you know, it's upsetting."

The cemetery plans to have all of the stones put back in place by the end of the day Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Acushnet Police at 508-998-0240.

(c) WLNE-TV 2018