Metal thieves have stolen more than 525 bronze vases from graves in a Colma cemetery over the past month.
The sold-bronze vases, roughly 11 inches tall and weighing about 8 pounds apiece, are attached to bronze plaques on flat-stone graves. They're designed to be removed or attached by family members with little difficulty, Varner said, but that also makes them easy pickings for grave robbers.
All told, the vases were worth more than $85,000, Read said. Melted down - the vases' likely fate, if they were stolen for their metal - the bronze would garner about $4,000, he said.
Metal thieves desecrate hundreds of Colma graves