Police: Drivers do doughnuts in Vermont veterans cemetery, cause thousands in damage

  • Vehicles driving on the grounds of the Vermont Veterans Cemetery in Randolph Center, Vt., caused an estimated $3,000 in damage on Nov. 30, 2021. They missed markers and statuary on the grounds. (Courtesy Orange County Sheriff) Courtesy Orange County Sheriff

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 12/15/2021 12:41:25 PM
Modified: 12/16/2021 6:26:04 AM

RANDOLPH — The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying two drivers who damaged the grounds of the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery by doing doughnuts in the snow.

“What’s frustrating is they did it early morning on Nov. 30 right after a snowfall and damaged it quite a bit. For some reason, they came back the next night and did similar acts,” Sgt. Jean-Miguel Bariteau said. “Fortunately, they did not hit or damage any of the stones or anything like that.”

There were markers on the ground and “they came pretty close to running over them, but they did not,” he added. The cemetery is located on Furnace Road, in an area that does not see a lot of vehicle traffic. It is maintained by the state of Vermont.

Bariteau said there were two vehicles involved, and they caused around $3,000 worth of damage. Citing the ongoing investigation, he declined to discuss the evidence, including what investigators learned from the tire tracks. The damaged area will need to be re-seeded and leveled.

It is possible that the culprits could be charged with misdemeanors related to property damage and vandalism, he said. Anyone with information is asked to call 802-685-4875. Callers do not have to identify themselves.

“It hits a core with everyone when you talk about veterans and cemeteries and people who gave their life to this country and the respect,” Bariteau said. “It’s not just the damage. It goes beyond that.”

Recently, there has been similar damage reported at the Randolph Town Forest and other areas around town.

“I don’t know if it’s a new thing to do but in the last few years ... it seems like it’s something that’s more prevalent this year,” said Bariteau, who added this is the first time he’s seen this trend in his 22 years in law enforcement. “It seems like people who are doing that are people with a lack of judgment, and maybe younger people.”

He also said not to assume that the people who did it were making some sort of statement by targeting the cemetery.

“Going through a cemetery with vehicles is not a joy ride,” Bariteau said. “This is unacceptable.”

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.

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