By Jo-Anne MacKenzie
---- — SALEM — A 2006 Hyundai was found torched in a local cemetery before the car’s owner or the garage where it was left realized it had been stolen.
Someone called police at 8 a.m. Monday to report the car in the Pine Grove Cemetery, according to Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten.
The inside of the car, owned by a Penacook resident, had been torched.
“In my opinion, it was destroyed,” Patten said.
There were no plates on the car and it had not been reported stolen when police were called to the cemetery.
The car had last been seen at a repair shop in Boscawen, Patten said.
Police contacted the car’s owner, who said the vehicle was at a garage in Boscawen. Upon investigation, police determined the garage had been burglarized Sunday night and the car stolen, Patten said.
The car was set on fire and the interior burned out, he said.
The vehicle was found in a grassy area off to the side of one of the cemetery’s roads, he said.
“It was in the back of the cemetery,” Patten said, “so we believe it was someone familiar with the area.”
He said the car could have been stolen for any number of reasons, including by someone who needed a ride.
“If it’s not stolen for parts, then they often commandeer the vehicle, then dump it,” he said.
The thief or thieves might have torched the car to destroy any evidence, he said.
There are no suspects or witnesses. Local police are working with authorities in Boscawen to solve the crime.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Salem Police at 893-1911 or Southern NH Crimeline at 893-6600.