LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A $25,000 reward is being offered to catch those responsible for stealing plaques from a veterans memorial in East Los Angeles.
KNX 1070′s Ed Mertz reports emotions were running high after thieves dampened a somber memorial service on Veterans Day.
The three plaques were reportedly stolen in October from the All Wars Mexican American Memorial at Cinco Puntos at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Indiana streets in Boyle Heights.
The site honors Americans of Mexican heritage who served in the military, such as Tony Zapata, a local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) commander .
“This represents all the young men and women that have given their lives for this country, and for somebody to do this, it just tears us apart,” Zapata said.
Police said thieves used specialized equipment to pry off the plaques, which are believed to be worth about $5,000 as scrap metal.
At least one of the plaques had been at the five-point intersection since 1947 – a legacy that prompted one bystander to call for extreme justice.
“You wanna know what I really think? I think when they catch the guys, they should be put in front of a firing squad,” the man said. “That’s how I feel about vandalizing our country.”
Anyone with information on the memorial plaques is asked to contact the LAPD.