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Thieves target bronze urns and flower pots at cemeteries

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

The missing loot is valued at nearly $25,000 and consists of more than 300 bronze pots and cases stolen from Spokane Memorial Gardens and 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 first thefts occurred the weekend of July 24 at Spokane Memorial Gardens, 5909 S. Cheney-Spokane Road.

Employees reported 50 14-by-18-inch 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. Friday and 8 a.m. Monday, someone stole 270 6-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, Reagan said.

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

It’s the second report of theft at Spokane cemeteries this summer.

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

The planters 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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