Florida Man Stole 125 Bronze Vases From Cemetery, Sold as Scrap Metal for Cash
Cue up the "What Were They Smokin'" theme song.
A St. Petersburg, Florida man was arrested this past Saturday after detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said that he stole at least 125 bronze vases from the Pinellas County cemetery, then sold them as scrap metal for some quick cash.
According to detectives, 31-year-old Douglas Deck Jr. removed more than 125 vases from cemetery plots at Memorial Park Funeral Home in St. Petersburg between July 12-13. The vases were affixed to the concrete headstones on the gravesites. These, of course, were meant to hold flowers or other ornamental decorations.
On July 21, deputies received a call from a local scrap metal yard and it was determined that Deck had sold vases for cash there on four separate occasions. Thankfully, detectives were able to recover 124 of the stole vases from the scrap metal dealer. All total, Deck sold 661 pounds of bronze for a total of $1,149.
The Sheriff's Office said the removal of these vases cost the cemetery an estimated $150,000.
During the investigation, Deck's bicycle was located in the cemetery, which is located next to his home. He admitted to deputies that he "found" the vases and decided to keep them for himself.
Deck was arrested on four counts of dealing in stolen property, one count of damage or removal of a tomb or monument and one count of possession of a controlled substance after deputies found 0.25 grams of fentanyl in his possession when he was taken into custody.
He remains in the Pinellas County Jail with bond set at $107,000, according to jail records.