A man who stole 125 bronze vases that adorned the niches of a cemetery in Pinellas County, on the west coast of Florida, was arrested and charged with “dealing in stolen property” and ” damage to a grave or monument,” the sheriff’s office said Tuesday.
The thefts occurred on July 12 and 13, when Douglas Deck, 31, looted numerous niches from the Memorial Park Funeral Home cemetery in the city of St. Petersburg and removed more than 125 metal vessels placed next to the tombstones. concrete in the graves, the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Losses from the removal of ornamental decoration from the tombs amounted to about $150,000.
The investigation of the theft led detectives to a junkyard where 124 stolen bronze vases were recovered and the subsequent arrest of Deck as the suspect in selling the vases for just over $1,000.
Deck was arrested on July 23 and charged with four criminal counts of “trafficking stolen property, damaging or removing a grave” and one count of possession of controlled substances.
He remains under arrest in a county jail.
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