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Metal thieves hit 2 Spokane cemeteries

Wed., Aug. 11, 2010, 1:48 p.m.

Thieves looking for valuable metal may be responsible for the loss of flower pots and urns at two Spokane cemeteries in the last two weeks, detectives announced today.

The stolen loot is valued at nearly $25,000 and consists of more than 300 bronze pot and cases stolen from the Spokane Memorial Gardens and the Greenwood Memorial Terrace.

“Bronze is worth money, and I can’t think of any other reason they’d steal them,” said Sgt. Dave Reagan, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The thefts first occurred the weekend of July 24 at Spokane Memorial Gardens, 5909 S. Cheney-Spokane Road.

Employees reported 50 14” by 18” bronze flower pots, valued at $9,000, missing between 5 p.m. July 24 and 8 a.m. July 27.

Then between 4 p.m. Aug. 6 and 8 a.m. Aug. 9, someone stole 270 six-inch bronze vases from the Niches and Crypts areas of Greenwood Memorial Terrace, 211 N. Government Way. Employees estimated the value at $15,000.

Investigators suspect the thieves used a vehicle to haul the loot because of the weight of the bronze items, Regan said.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips. Call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

It’s the second report of theft at Spokane cemeteries in about two months.

In June, prosecutors charged Robert P. Sullivan, 45, with two felonies after police said he stole at least 150 plants from the Holy Cross Cemetery, 7200 N.Wall, between June 4 and June 6, then resold them outside his home.

The flowers had been sold for $25 to families of the deceased in honor of Memorial Day.

Sullivan’s next court appearance is set for Aug. 30 on charges of second-degree theft and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.



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