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Hackensack PD: Sub Saboteurs Didn't Swipe WWII Memorial Plaques From USS Ling

The USS Ling was flooded by whoever took the plaques. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Police investigate the thefts at the USS Ling in Hackensack on Tuesday.
Police investigate the thefts at the USS Ling in Hackensack on Tuesday. Video Credit: Cecilia Levine
Four plaques were taken from the WWII submarine memorial honoring the 52 ships that went down. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Police were investigating the incident at the museum as at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Authorities on the ship. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Museum officials Leslie Altschuler (right) and Jack Brown noticed some of the guns on deck were out of place and hatches were open when they arrived Tuesday at the museum. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

UPDATE: Four memorial plaques that vanished from the flooded USS Ling submarine on the Hackensack River weren't stolen by thieves, as originally suspected: A member of the once-floating museum took them home for safekeeping, police said Thursday.

https://hackensack.dailyvoice.com/police-fire/police-wwii-memorial-plaques-werent-stolen-from-hackensacks-flooded-uss-ling-after-all/742549/

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ORIGINAL STORY: Someone stole four memorial plaques for Navy seamen killed in World War II from the USS Ling submarine on the Hackensack River and then flooded the museum, said authorities who were trying to find them.

A caretaker at the River Street museum and memorial summoned police, who found that someone "entered the USS Ling and purposely and forcefully opened numerous hatches throughout the submarine, causing the entire interior of the submarine to flood with river water," Police Capt. Brian Corcoran said.

Taken were four bronze plaques, valued at $10,000, honoring 52 submarines lost in the Second World War, Corcoran said.

"The Hackensack Police Department’s Detective Bureau is investigating this disgraceful incident further, with hopes to locate and prosecute those responsible," the captain said.

Museum officials Leslie Altschuler and Jack Brown noticed that some of the deck guns were out of place and hatches open when they arrived Tuesday.

"This is terrible," said Altschuler, the base commander. "It's a memorial."

The submarine came to Hackensack in 1973 from Brooklyn, where it had been used for Naval Reserve training.

Brown and Altschuler both trained on the boat in the 1960s.

The museum was recently evicted from the property behind the Heritage Diner due to the construction of new housing units next door at the former site of the Bergen Record newspaper.

All of the records and artifacts were supposed to go but the submarine was to remain, they said.

"We don't know how bad the damage is until water gets pumped out," Altschuler said. "It might not be salvageable anymore."

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