Headstones were knocked over in at least two separate incidents at Hebburn Cemetery in South Tyneside, Northumbria Police said.
Officers launched an appeal for information tracking down the criminals whose callous actions have left relatives of those buried at the site distraught.
Around 25 graves were trashed, ornaments were stolen and the area was left strewn with litter and dog mess, the Shields Gazette reported.
Local widower Tommy Oughton, 82, was moved to tears as he told the paper how he found the grave of his late wife, Mary, had been vandalised.
"My wife died of cancer and it had such an impact on me. We were married for 59 years," he said.
"It's heartbreaking to see what they've done.
THE SHIELDS GAZETTE
Police are hunting for vandals who have desecrated dozens of graves at Hebburn Cemetery
It's heartbreaking to see what they've done
"They'd thrown beer cans, bottles, teabags, dog muck all over people's graves."
A police spokesman said that they were taking the incidents "very seriously".
"Police are investigating after reports of vandalism at a South Tyneside cemetery," a statement said.
THE SHIELDS GAZETTE
Around 25 graves were trashed, ornaments were stolen and the area was left with litter
"There have been at least two separate incidents of vandalism to headstones at Hebburn Cemetery on Victoria Road West.
"It is believed the headstones, which have been knocked over, were damaged between 2.30pm on Saturday and 8.30am [Sunday] morning.
"We are aware that members of the public are concerned about the vandalism and police are taking these incidents very seriously.
"Extra patrols are being carried out in the area and the local neighbourhood policing team are working closely with the local authority to put preventative measures in place.
"Police enquiries to identify those responsible are ongoing and anyone with any information that may help the investigation should get in touch."
Anyone with information is urged to contact officers on 101 quoting log 694 19/02/17.