Two arrested in thefts of cemetery vases

Oct. 4, 2010 at 5:02 PM

NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Virginia police say they've arrested two people and charged them in the theft of bronze vases marking the plots of veterans' graves in a cemetery.

Chesapeake police arrested Michael Ruiz Cardona and Holly Minnie Chandler as they allegedly loaded their van with the vases at Greenland Memorial Gardens, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Monday.

The two were charged each with one count of grand larceny with intent to sell and one count of vandalism, the newspaper said.

The cemetery reported 101 vases stolen on six occasions since Aug. 30.

Police have concluded Cardona and Chandler are responsible for at least 53 of those vases, Chesapeake police spokeswoman Officer Dorienne Boykin said.

The president of Greenlawn Memorial Gardens says the arrests are a relief.

"It's really emotional for the family. I hope this puts an end to it," Hinton Hurff said.

The vases, costing $300, are not the property of the cemetery; they belong to the plot owners.

Hurff said he plans to offer family members a discount if they choose to replace a missing vase.

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