At least $160,000 in bronze items were stolen from dozens of mausoleums in a Bronx cemetery, said authorities this week.
The grave robbers pilfered the valuable bronze from the St. Raymond Cemetery in Throgs Neck over the past several days, the New York Post reported Tuesday. Sources told the paper the thefts were discovered on Monday.
“At some point late last week, [we] started to notice that items were missing from different mausoleums or different gravesites,” Chief Security Officer Matthew Horace with FJC Security Service, which is used by St. Raymonds, told CBS.
Bronze nameplates, vents, and door handles were taken from 65 separate mausoleums. The stolen bronze could be sold as scrap metal.
“I think it’s despicable to disturb someone’s eternal rest just to make money,” Anthony Messina, 53, a local man who visited the grave of his grandmother on Monday, told the newspaper. “To me, it’s not right.”
St. Raymond’s Cemetery is one of the most well-used cemeteries in the United States, with some 4,000 burials annually. Jazz singer Billie Holliday and professional boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho, who was recently killed in November, are both buried there.
“It’s a terrible crime. This is where people come to bury their loved ones,” Horace said.
“There were items that were made of brass or copper that were stolen and we all know that right now on the open market, brass and copper yields a profit,” Horace was quoted as saying. He said that the perpetrators dropped a bag filled with the purported burglary tools.
“There are a lot of places in here where people can hide or walk, particularly at nighttime,” Horace said of the cemetery.
The suspect was identified as 56-year-old Louis Peduto, reported ABC-7. He is described as around six feet tall and was last spotted wearing a dark-colored hooded jacket, and a red-hooded sweatshirt.
Rosa Miranda, a local, told the Post: “With the amount of money we pay to bury here, there should be better security. They have to put someone here to take care of this place. It’s very, very sad.”
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