LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thousands of dollars of equipment used to take care of an abandoned cemetery has been stolen, leaving volunteers with nothing.

Members of the non-profit organization “Friends of Eastern Cemetery” noticed the shed that houses several pieces of landscaping equipment was broken into.

“It’s very disheartening to think that somebody that maybe came and volunteered with us really had ulterior motives” said volunteer president Andy Harpole.

For the last several years, LMPD has patrolled the 28-acre property, and on Tuesday morning, someone noticed the gate was broken, and the chains to the shed were cut.

It appears a car may have pushed the gates open to get to the shed. It’s believed the burglary happened between Sunday night and Tuesday morning.

Harpole said nearly $20,000 in landscaping equipment was stolen, including eight lawn trimmers, a four wheeler and trailer, several gallons of oil, several commercial mowers and a generator.

The majority of the equipment used weekly has been donated or purchased by fundraisers.

Each week, several volunteers use the equipment to take care of the property, one that that has more than 138,000 people buried in 16,000 graves. Eastern Cemetery is one of the most densely-buried cemeteries in the United States. It has been abandoned since 1992 when the company that owned it dissolved.

Volunteers will now borrow the equipment they need for the next couple weeks until landscaping efforts resume in late April after winter.

“This is not defeating for us,” Harpole said. “It’s a speed bump. We will start over.”

Anyone with information on the burglary is urged to call 502-574-LMPD

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