Mausoleum doors stolen and allegedly scrapped

Two men have been identified by police for their alleged involvement in an investigation surrounding the theft of brass and bronze mausoleum doors from a Pennsylvania cemetery. The custom-made doors, installed in 1926 and 1969, were valued at $36,000, according to the manager of the cemetery from which they were stolen. The men who have been taken into custody on suspicion of theft had both been previously employed at cemeteries.

According to reports, the alleged thefts occurred on Dec. 14 and Dec. 17. By visiting various recycling centers, authorities found records that scrapped bronze and brass were sold in approximate weights of the missing doors. The police superintendent believes the doors were cut with a blowtorch prior to being scrapped and sold for a total of $660.

Police claim that recycling company video footage helped them identify two men, ages 23 and 36, who sold the metal. The men reportedly admitted to stealing the doors in a police interview, and they have been charged with theft crimes including theft by unlawful taking, institutional vandalism, conspiracy and receiving stolen property. Both are being held in custody pending a Jan. 8 hearing, and bail has been set at 10 percent of $10,000 for each. Authorities claimed that the men stole the doors to earn money for drug use, but no evidence was reported to support their accusation.

In a case like this, previous admission of guilt may make the two men's defense more difficult, but police methods of obtaining a confession would have to honor the rights of the accused to be valid in court. A criminal defense lawyer with experience in theft cases may be able to negotiate for reduced sentencing even if the men are ultimately convicted.

Source: Daily Times, "Upper Darby police: Men whole stole mausoleum doors worked at Yeadon cemetery", Linda Reilly , January 04, 2014

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