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22 pounds of Farmington American Legion's grave markers taken

The grave markers stolen last week are similar to this one.

Farmington police are investigating the theft of 22 pounds of grave markers owned by the Farmington American Legion Clifford Larson Post 189.

According to Farmington police sergeant Lee Hollatz, the theft was reported by Tailgaters owner Craig Loeschke on Feb. 27. Loeschke called police after he was contacted by Eagan-based JR Recycling on Feb. 26, Hollatz said.

The recycling company called Tailgaters -- which is located in a building that formerly belonged to the American Legion -- after a man brought approximately 22 pounds of stars from grave markers to the business last week. Tailgaters has stored the American Legion's belongings since the sale of the building was completed last August.

The grave markers were stored under a stairwell in the building, Post 189 Commander Leonard Weisbrich said. The markers were older ones, not currently being used for Memorial Day services. The markers used for Memorial Day services are stored at another location off-site, he said.

"They only turned in the stars," Weisbrich said Friday. "We don't know where the posts are."

At this point, Hollatz does not have an estimate on how much the grave markers are worth. Each star weighs just over one-half pound. Similar grave markers are listed in the American Legion's supply book, Flag & Emblem, at $33.95 each.

Hollatz has leads as to who the man was who brought the grave markers to JR Recycling, but is not releasing that information because the theft is still under investigation.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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