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Vandals damage tombs at historic Tampa cemetery

TAMPA — Vandals attacked multiple tombs at a historic cemetery, possibly with a sledgehammer, Tampa police say.

The police need the public's help solving the vandalism as detectives work to develop leads. The damage occurred within the past two to three days, police said Wednesday.

A suspect or suspects damaged 18 tombs and statues at the Centro Espanol de Tampa cemetery on E 21st Avenue in Ybor City, which opened in 1904 and houses more than 1,500 graves.

One tomb's concrete cover was smashed in, according to a police photo from the scene. The damage was caused by a heavy object, maybe a sledgehammer, police say.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers toll-free 1-800-873-8477.

Bre Bradham can be reached at and (803) 460-9001.