Cemetery vase thefts

May 11, 2009 4:01:31 PM PDT
Police are investigating the thefts of brass vases from the Edgewood Cemetery Delaware County. Somebody is selling the dignified, decorative pieces for scrap."We improvised and used a plastic cup to put in the hole that they stole the vase from."

Jim Bowen kneels over his mother's grave. He came here on Mother's Day to put flowers in the brass vase which costs about $300 to find it had been stolen just like more than a hundred others in Edgewood Park. It puts a hole in his heart he says. Sgt. Bowen, a Media policeman, is certain this was not simple vandalism.

"It's for money to support their drug habits it can't be for anything else if it was vandalism or something like that it would be they would be still here, they're taking them."

Yesterday Ron Hoffman and his wife Muriel felt the same pain at her mother's grave.

"I was very upset and went home and thought about it and we thought we would call the authorities," Muriel said.

"The individual is not a bum I'm sure of that you know it's got to be going to a scrap dealer and I think there outta be an investigation of scrap dealers," said Ron.

State police are investigating. They've had nearly 120 complaints here for brass vase thefts since Easter. They are canvassing scrap metal dealers all across the tri-state region.

The management of Edgewood has succeeded in prosecuting brass vase thieves in the past.

"A scrap dealer did turn them in and the police jumped on it pretty quickly, prosecuted and the people were sentenced to time," said Steve Brennan.

"Family doesn't mean anything to these people anymore you know it's all about the drugs, it's all about the money, they'll steal from their own and now they've reached out and are stealing from us," said Jim.

The management now recommends vases made of zinc a far, far less expensive metal that will pretty much have the same look as the brass ones.

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