PITTSFIELD — Some things you just don't expect to be stolen. Count a 350-pound gravestone among them.

"Maybe it was foolish, but I thought: they're headstones, who would steal them?" said Donna Brewer, owner of Savino Empire Monuments on Wahconah Street.

Brewer said she reported the stone stolen to the Pittsfield Police Department Wednesday morning. She arrived at work, she said, to find a hole cut through her front fence and a missing monument that she would have sold for $1,700.

She said she's been in the business for 21 years and has never seen a headstone stolen, though this is the third time she's reported a robbery in the past year. Still, she believes the first two thefts, which were not of headstones, were perpetrated by a former employee.

Brewer said she's both perplexed and hurt by the missing headstone.

"It's also so much more than weird — it's a sense of being violated," she said.

The gray granite piece would have required "two real big strong guys" to make off with, she said, plus a truck and tools to use to cut the fence.

Because it never occurred to her that someone would steal a headstone, she said, her security cameras don't cover the front display area.

Brewer said it's unlikely a thief could exchange the monument for cash. She said it's most likely that someone lugged it away for a Christmas gift.

"You don't steal a headstone to get money," she said. "I think someone got one for Christmas."

She said an engraver would need to finish the stone with a message in order for it to be meaningful to anyone, and so she's asked those in the area to be on the lookout. She said she's also contacted local cemeteries.

"So people are watching for it," she said.

Brewer said she decided it wasn't cost-effective to file insurance claims to recoup previous losses, as they would increase the annual premium. She said she wants the community to know that her company is small, and that this deals a blow.

"All I did today was cry," she said. "It's not fair. I'm here to do a service."

Since it's hard to hide a headstone, she's hoping that spreading the word will help bring it back to her.

"If someone has an extra headstone," she said, "it's bound to show up."

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.