Police Chief Mark Leahy is urging the public to provide information that may help police find the vandals who rampaged through the Howard Street Cemetery on Sunday night, knocking over 64 headstones.

Police Chief Mark Leahy is urging the public to provide information that may help police find the vandals who rampaged through the Howard Street Cemetery on Sunday night, knocking over 64 headstones.


Leahy spent much of Monday at the cemetery surveying the damage. Many of the headstones were located in the older section of the burial ground, and some fractured when they were toppled. The vandals also broke American flags placed by headstones and pulled up bushes around graves.


"I feel a combination of sadness and disgust with an act of vandalism such as this pathetic act," Leahy told selectmen Monday night. "Anyone with information, your assistance is needed and appreciated."


People can provide information without giving their name, Leahy said.


Selectman Jeff Amberson said the damage touched many in the community.


"There are probably very few people in this town who don't know someone buried in that cemetery," Amberson said. "I can't imagine how I would feel if it was one of my loved ones (whose grave was vandalized). Think how you would feel and do the right thing. Call the police station and tell them what you know."


The destruction at the cemetery could be related to other vandalism in Northborough this summer, Leahy said, including the tipping over of portable toilets at parks. Leahy asked parents to be sure they know where their children are at night.


"A few years back we had commercials that said, 'Parents, it's 10 o'clock, do you know where your kids are?' " Leahy said. "There is a group that has had free rein to participate in these activities. This has gotten a little out of hand, and with the incident (Sunday night) it has jumped way out of hand."


Police do not have any suspects, Leahy said, but they did find some clues at the cemetery. "We found 10 items of evidence that may assist us in our investigation," Leahy said.


Anyone with information can contact Detective Brian Griffin at 508-393-1515.


Charlie Breitrose of The MetroWest Daily News (Framingham, Mass.) can be reached at 508-490-7461 or cbreitro@cnc.com.