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Augusta Police Searching for Vandal of Fallen Officer’s Grave

Police in Augusta, Maine are looking for the person who stole a marker from a fallen officer's grave.

The theft feels personal to the police.

"It's part of our history and our heritage."

About a week ago an officer patrolling the cemetery noticed a grave marker and a Maine state flag, which had been placed in the cemetery to honor Officer Rufus Lishness, the first officer killed in the line of duty in the city's history, was missing.

After an extensive search, police say they believe it was stolen.

"It seems as though they took ours for a reason."

Although the stolen property is not too valuable, it does have priceless sentimental and historical value.

"We're pretty entrenched in the history here."

In 1884, he was responding to a disturbance call at the Old Fort Western when he opened a window and was shot in the head.

"His dying words were recorded at the time as 'I did my duty, didn't I?'"

Now his department's duty is to keep his memory alive, even though more than a century has passed. They are committed to maintaining his grave and finding the person who disrespected it.

"It's like a kick in the pants because that is part of us... That's part of the department. That's like coming to my house and stealing something... that's how personal it is to us."

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