Jeffrey Huey, 23, of Clyde, Ohio, was charged with felony theft, breaking and entering and vandalism after cemetery workers told police multiple items -- trees, urns, flower pots, benches -- were being stolen from Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.
Police planted a tree near where one had been stolen and outfitted it with a GPS device and trained security cameras on it in the hope of catching the thief in the act, the Sandusky (Ohio) Register said Tuesday. Their plan worked on Friday when a man later identified as Huey drove up, dug up the tree and tossed it in the back of his sport utility vehicle.
Officers pulled over Huey a short distance later. He said he had been asked to pick up the tree by his friend but couldn't tell police the friend's name.
When they went to Huey's home, police said they were shocked to find dozens of items stolen from cemeteries across Ohio and Michigan lining Huey's driveway in plain sight.
Police are encouraging people to check loved one's grave sites to ensure nothing has been stolen and report any thefts so they can check Huey's stash of missing items and return them to the families.