LEIGHTON, Ala. – A board member of the Living LaGrange Historical Association says the historic LaGrange Cemetery has been desecrated around a dozen times within the last two years.

The most recent vandalism came on June 23 when a tomb had its lid removed and multiple stones were overturned.

Brian Bendall, a board member of the Living LaGrange Historical Association, told News 19 that desecrating graves at the 200-year-old cemetery has become a severe problem in their community.

“We want people to realize when they come in here this is somebody’s dad, somebody’s mother, someone’s son or daughter. And we ask them to put themselves in the family’s shoes,” Bendall said. “Would you want someone disturbing your family member’s grave just for a thrill?”

Bendall later said that he believes people don’t appreciate how important historic landmarks and gravesites are.

“When they look down in there, I don’t know what they’re expecting to see, but it’s not there,” Bendall said. “So we just want people to be respectful of these graves and please do not disturb them.”

Bendall later added that the cemetery has added security cameras since the most recent vandalization. If a person is caught on camera desecrating a grave, they will be reported to the police.

Desecration of a grave or other monument can land you in jail for up to a year. Anyone found guilty can also be fined up to $2,000.