This Cemetery Worker Stole Gravestones for a Reason You Won’t Believe

We know a few things about the types of flooring surfaces that today’s homeowners prefer.

About 34% of homeowners in a recent Houzz survey reported having or planning to have hardwood flooring somewhere in their home; carpeting and linoleum are other popular flooring options. It’s pretty safe to say that none of these homeowners have ever considered stealing veterans’ gravestones to use them as a flooring surface.

Yet one Rhode Island cemetery worker recently did just that, using veterans’ headstones he’d snatched from his workplace as a flooring surface in a shed and two garages.

According to a July 2 CBS News report, Kevin Maynard, 59, recently agreed to plead guilty to stealing at least 150 granite grave markers from Rhode Island Veterans’ Cemetery, along with other cemetery property.

Investigators from the Veterans Administration and the Rhode Island State Police found Maynard’s morbid garage flooring during an April 23 investigation of Maynard’s Charleston home. The damaged gravestones were intended to be destroyed and replaced in an effort to preserve the dignity of the veterans whose graves they marked.

Jason T. Kravetz, a special agent from the Veterans Administration “observed automotive fluids and debris scattered over the gravestones,” he wrote in a federal affidavit.

Maynard will appear in federal court July 13, where he is expected to be sentenced to serve one year of probation and 500 hours of community service in exchange for his guilty plea.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides the headstones that mark the graves of veterans in the cemetery free of charge to the veterans’ families.

“That is a stone that someone prayed over or thought about a loved one over,” U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha said of Maynard’s morbid crime. “And to park your car on that — what could be more disrespectful or outrageous or unthinking?”

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