SUDBURY -- Many are calling the theft of a sword from a war memorial at a cemetery in Sudbury disheartening, disrespectful and shameful.

It happened sometime this week at the Park Lawn Cemetery in a section dedicated to veterans.

The copper and bronze sword that was affixed to the veterans' monument was stolen.

"We are so devastated by this, that someone would be so heinous in doing this crime to a memorial for our veterans," said John Belfry, the Park Lawn Cemetery manager. "It affects all Canadians as far as you know what the Canadians that died for our country have done."

Bruce McNab, the president of local branch 76 of the Royal Canadian Legion, called it a senseless, shameful crime.

"I don't want to use improper words, but I call them little snakes. To turn around and come and steal a memorial like this, what is the purpose of it," said McNab.

The theft has been reported to police.

'I hope they get caught'

A veteran himself, McNab hopes justice prevails.

"Why a sword? What good is it going to do them? Where are they gonna hide it? Because they will show it somewhere along the line and I hope they get caught," McNab said.

Replacing the sword could cost between $1,000 to $2,000, but many are hopeful the original sword will be returned out of respect.

"It's a sentimental thing. It's just so degrading, so disgusting," Belfry said.

The theft took some effort; the bolts affixing the sword were sheered off. The Lougheed Funeral Home is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest but said they are hoping someone will have second thoughts about what they have done and return it.