PERTH AMBOY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Middlesex County authorities are probing the recent thefts of human remains — including those of a toddler — from two area cemeteries.

County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said Wednesday that the remains of a 72-year-old man were taken from a granite mausoleum at the Most Holy Rosary Cemetery in Woodbridge on or about Feb. 15.

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“That’s creepy. I mean, it makes you wonder what are they going to do with it. Where’s it going to wind up? Is it a joke, is it a dare? What are they going to do with it?” Woodbridge resident Aida Smith asked CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.

That came about three months after the remains of a 2-year-old boy were removed from a grave at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Perth Amboy. It’s believed that the theft occurred on or around Nov. 28.

“I think it’s disgusting that they took the body out of there. That’s like insane,” one woman told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

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Kaplan said investigators believe the thefts may be the work of “individuals involved in nontraditional religious practice,” but declined further comment. He said the families of the deceased individuals have been notified of the thefts.

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“I think it’s awful.  I think that they should find the person and lock them up — throw the book at them. You shouldn’t have this thing happening here,” another area resident said.

Lou Panigrosso heard the news and came to check on his parents’ mausoleum.

“I just find it to be abhorrent — to use someone’s body for a ritual. It’s out of the question. You know it’s beyond human decency,” Lou Panigrosso said.

“I don’t understand people today and what motivates them to not to respect the dignity of the deceased,” he said.

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