Police in New Jersey are searching for the culprits who sunk a World War II-era submarine that was docked in the Hackensack River. Navy veteran Jack Brown, who serves as a trustee on the Submarine Memorial Association, noticed something didn't look right when he went to visit the New Jersey Naval Museum over the weekend.
"I noticed the boat looked very low in the water," Brown said. "[Vandals] cut through with bolt cutters, I guess, got in and opened all the hatches. The equipment and artifacts inside are ruined."
When authorities went inside to inspect the damage, they discovered that four bronze plaques, which commemorated the thousands of navy officers who lost their lives on submarines during World War II, were missing.
"People today aren't recognizing the value of artifacts that represent our history," New Jersey Naval Museum President Gilbert De Laat told Fox5 New York. "3,000 lives were lost in submarine service—it was really the thing that changed the outcome of World War II."
Local authorities are unsure how they are going to deal with the partially sunken submarine. According to NorthJersey.com, Hackensack does not have the money to move the submarine and will require outside help to drain the water and pull the 312-foot, 2,500-ton sub from the river, which could cost millions of dollars. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise the money needed to restore the U.S.S Ling.