By Brandi Makuski
Stevens Point police have recovered a stolen cemetery sign that’s been missing for over a year.
Lt. Dana Williams from the SPPD said officers were acting on an anonymous tip when they obtained a search warrant for a property on the 1700 block of County Trunk C. The warrant was served at about 2:30 p.m. on July 29, she said.
The sign was found displayed in a pole shed on the property. Police also recovered a sign stolen from the Green Circle Trail, Williams said.
According to police records, several people were in the home at the time of the search, but one 37-year-old man was identified as a suspect. Williams said while the investigation is still ongoing, she expects the department will ask the Portage Co. District Attorney’s Office to charge the man with theft.
The cemetery sign went missing in May 2020, when crews from the city’s parks department temporarily removed it to conduct tree-trimming operations at the city-owned cemetery. Following the theft, a private citizen offered a $500 reward to help recover the sign, which is almost a century old.
Mayor Mike Wiza said in a press release that he was “elated” officers were able to recover the sign.
“I’m also grateful that someone came forward to help us recover this piece of Stevens Point history,” he said.
Parks Director Dan Kremer said the sign needs some minor repairs, but he expects the sign will be rehung in “a couple of weeks.”
Williams said officers at SPPD were “pretty disappointed” when the sign was stolen last year.
“But the fact we had a private citizen trying to encourage a recovery of the sign [with the reward] was a sign of how important it is to our community,” she said. “Being able to recover this piece of history makes us feel, as a department, good to be able to return it.”