• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

24 stolen tombstones found at suspected drug house

August 17, 2011 12:44:27 AM PDT
A search warrant at a suspected drug house in Loma Linda yielded a lot more than narcotics. Officers discovered 24 stolen tombstones valued at about $48,000.

Authorities served the warrant in the 10900 block of Cabrillo Loop at 2:47 p.m. Tuesday because they suspected the homeowner was selling meth. Officers say they confirmed that the residents were selling meth from inside the home, but upon further investigation, tombstones with custom inscriptions were found in the backyard.

"It was completely unexpected," said Cindy Bachman of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators determined that at least one of the grave markers came from a cemetery in Colton. The operator of the cemetery says they are also investigating and believe the headstone may have been stolen out of a storage area and not from the grounds.

The suspects may have been after what adorn the tombstones.

"Some of them do have marks on them where there was probably some type of metal, maybe copper or brass, some type of fixture on there or a name plate that has been removed, and they probably got a small amount of money for," Bachman said.

Authorities are now searching for the families whose loved one's final resting place may be missing its marker. They said at least one family has come forward to claim a tombstone.

"Kind of sad that someone would take property like this and just throw it in their backyard," Bachman said.

Two firearms were also found inside the house.

John Bleuer, 50, was arrested. He faces charges including possession of a firearm while in possession of narcotics, possession of stolen property and methamphetamine sales. Police say three others who were not at home at the time could also be facing charges.

Authorities say the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to call the sheriff's Central Station at (909) 387-3545. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call WE-TIP at (800) 78-CRIME.

Load Comments