TIME History

Thieves Break Into President James Garfield’s Tomb And Steal His Spoons

James Garfield
This file photo shows a marble statue of America's 20th President, James A. Garfield, in the center of the James A. Garfield Monument at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland. Amy Sancetta / AP

Burglars broke into the former president's final resting place in a Cleveland suburb, stole commemorative spoons and left behind as evidence cigarette butts, a t-shirt and an empty Fireball whiskey bottle. Perhaps they thought it might be a fair exchange?

Apparently, someone’s idea of a great time is heading to the suburbs of Cleveland, breaking into President James A. Garfield’s tomb and swiping a set of commemorative spoons.

The burglars shattered a window to get inside the monument, which is housed at Lakeview Cemetery, Northeast Ohio Media Group reports. A cemetery worker later discovered that around two dozen commemorative demitasse and teaspoons had been stolen.

We were like, ‘Really? They took spoons?'” Katherine Goss, president and chief executive of the cemetery, told the Washington Post. They would be hard to sell at an auction house, she explained, “because everyone would wonder where they came from.”

When police arrived on the scene, they found a t-shirt, cigarette butts and an empty bottle of Fireball cinnamon whiskey outside the building. Goss said they even left some cash in a donation box — perhaps in an attempt to pay for the swiped spoons?

But let’s definitely talk about these spoons a bit more. Goss said they’re “flimsy little things” with practically no monetary value, though they do have his face engraved on the handles, so maybe some die-hard Garfield fans just wanted to add them to a shrine or something.

Investigators are searching for DNA on the items that the thieves left behind to try to identify them. If not die-hard Garfield fans, who could be the culprit here? Antique spoon collectors? Bored teenagers? Or, most likely, this was the ghost of James A. Garfield himself just looking to stir up some trouble and get himself back into the news cycle.

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