Apparently it’s fine to use old tombstones to construct a sea wall, but not okay to douse them in vegetable oil. Duly noted.
Deepak Sandhar Singh is now facing more than a dozen felony vandalism charges after he admitted to covering 150 headstones at a Union City cemetery with vegetable oil. He told authorities he did it to ward off evil spirits.
On Friday, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office charged the 26-year-old Hayward man with 15 counts of felony vandalism for defacing the tombstones at the Chapel of the Chimes Memorial Park in Union City.
According to Ben Horner of the Union City Police Department, Singh said he bought a two-gallon jug of soybean oil from a local market and used it to douse the headstones because they “were evil” and needed to be purified with oil.
Groundskeepers also noticed he had rearranged flowers between headstones and left behind several small plastic figures, pieces of string and ribbons at different grave sites.
After groundskeepers discovered the damage on Thursday, Singh was arrested on Friday and taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he posted bail.
Chapel of the Chimes General Manager Harry Blakeman said that the headstones were all immediately cleaned on Friday at an estimated cost of $5,000.
Earlier this year, vandals stole copper and brass flower holders from more than 500 graves at Colma’s Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, most likely to recycle the metals for cash.