A bronze plaque commemorating 15 Petaluma soldiers who died in the Vietnam War has been stolen from Walnut Park.
The plaque was reported stolen Monday, but may have been removed as early as Christmas, said Petaluma Police Department spokesman Lt. Tim Lyons.
The memorial plaque was located near the Walnut Park gazebo and appears to have been sanded off, said Joe Noriel, president of the Petaluma Historical Museum, which is now raising money to replace the memorial.
“This is a really sacred memorial and has been turned into an economic opportunity for someone,” Noriel said.
The plaque is approximately 25 inches wide and 30 inches loong and was first put in the '70s.
Items made from bronze, copper and other precious metals are regularly targeted by thieves who take them to scrap yards in exchange for cash.
Donations for a new Vietnam War Memorial can be sent to the Petaluma Museum at 20 4th St. Petaluma, CA 94952.