Reward offered in Tuscaloosa war monument theft case
Several local agencies are putting their heads and money together in an attempt to catch the person or people who stole and vandalized parts of a war monument last month in Tuscaloosa.
The theft and vandalism at Veterans Memorial Park on McFarland Boulevard was discovered during routine park patrols and reported to authorities Feb. 10.
The Alabama Marines Foundation, Veterans Memorial Park Association of Tuscaloosa and the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority are offering $1,700 to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the thefts and vandalism of two battle crosses at the park.
Battle crosses are memorial markers made up of a soldier’s rifle, boots and helmet.
“It ticked me off that somebody came down here and kicked down these veterans battle crosses,” said District 4 Tuscaloosa City Council Member Lee Busby. “I think an example needs to be made of them if we can find them.”
The helmet and rifle replica from the WWII battle cross was stolen. The Korean War battle cross was damaged.
“To a veteran, it’s quite shocking,” said AMF Board of Directors Chairman Forrest Fitts. “I would hope the individual or individuals who did this maybe didn’t understand where they were or what the battle cross signified, but it’s disheartening and disappointing because those are special items to any veteran.”
Battle crosses in the park are in memory of soldiers who fell on the battlefield during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War and the post-9/11 war in the Middle East.
“We are saddened,” said PARA Executive Director Becky Booker. “It’s disheartening to know that somebody would damage the memory, and especially what the battle cross means. Soldiers died on the battlefield for our freedoms. It’s like desecrating a cemetery.”
Anyone with information regarding the theft and vandalism should contact the Tuscaloosa Police Department at 205-248-4520.
Guns taken, veterans memorial vandalized in Tuscaloosa: Feb. 10, 2021