More than 200 tombstones at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates Cemetery in Glen Carbon, Illinois, were vandalized Friday, with Nazi swastikas painted on them with black paint, ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Mark Johnson, grounds superintendent at the cemetery, which houses over 1,300 veterans' remains, said the timing of the vandalism was not a coincidence as a Memorial Day ceremony for the general public was scheduled for Monday noon at the facility and a large number of people were expected to assemble to pay their respects.

“We haven't seen anything of this magnitude in the 30 years that I've been here,” said Johnson, the Hill reported. “I think they probably knew what they were doing.” He added that vandalism of this magnitude had not seen in the area before.

The police were alerted Saturday to the incident. Officials said a couple of cleaning crews were called in to power-wash the gravestones and clear the markers before the start of the Memorial ceremony. Volunteers also offered to help rid the cemetery of the racist symbols.

“It's all hands on deck to try to get this thing cleaned up by Monday,” Johnson said. The cemetery does not have security cameras inside its premises. However, the owner said he was considering installing surveillance devices so that acts of vandalism would not be repeated.

"To disrespect the dead like that... I mean, it just ain't right," John Lake, a Glen Carbon resident who visited the cemetery on Saturday said, local radio channel WMOV reported.

The police arrested a 34-year-old man suspected of being responsible for painting the swastikas on the gravestones. The name and identity of the man was withheld and would be released in case he was charged, the Edwardsville Police Department said in a Facebook post.

The police also believe that the same man was responsible for painting swastikas on nine homes and at least one vehicle in another neighborhood near the Sunset Hill Cemetery. One of the homes which were vandalized had a security camera and the suspect was seen on it walking near the area.

“It's a complete disregard for people's personal property,” Kent Marty, who lives in the neighborhood that was vandalized in Edwardsville, told CBS-affiliated KMOV.

“We would like to thank those who shared this post and called with Information. The fact the citizens of Glen Carbon and Edwardsville refuse to compromise with crime is greatly appreciated by both police departments,” the police added in the post.

Edwardsville and Glen Carbon police are working together to solve both cases.

Earlier this month, at least 14 male students at Arlington high school in Boston, Massachusetts, were accused of spraying a swastika and anti-gay slurs on the school building, using the spray from fire extinguishers.

“These actions represent a terrible breach of the peace and harmony we seek to instill as a welcoming, tolerant, and safe community,” said Arlington schools superintendent Kathleen Bodie in a statement at the time. “Whether these students intended to or not, their words and actions are hateful and hurtful, and we must respond appropriately.”

Vandalism More than 200 tombstones at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates Cemetery in Glen Carbon, Illinois, were vandalized with Nazi swastikas ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. This photograph shows a partial view of swastikas painted on some tombs in the Jewish Cronenbourg cemetery in Strasbourg, eastern France, Jan. 27, 2010. Photo: Getty Images/ JOHANNA LEGUERRE