LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Deputies searching a suspected California meth house found some two dozen granite tombstones stolen from local cemeteries in the backyard, a San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
The grave markers found at the home in the Inland Empire community of Loma Linda on Tuesday all had custom inscriptions and had apparently been ripped from the ground, spokeswoman Jodi Miller said.
"We're all trying to figure out why," Miller said. "There's no monetary value to these. They are made out of stone, so they are very, very heavy."
Several of the tombstones were traced to cemeteries in the nearby community of Colton, and family members of deceased individuals buried there have contacted the sheriff's department, she said.
Miller said a few of the gravestones had small amounts of metal or brass attached but there was no indication the thieves were stealing them for those materials.
Also discovered at the home were two firearms and evidence that its residents were selling methamphetamine, Miller said.
A man found at the house, 50-year-old John Bleuer, was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance while armed and sales of a controlled substance, she said. Deputies were still seeking three other suspects.
Miller said it was not yet clear how the tombstones, which have been valued at about $48,000, were removed from the ground or transported to the home in Loma Linda, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.
(Writing and reporting by Dan Whitcomb; editing by Cynthia Johnston)