PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas County man was arrested Saturday after authorities said he stole more than 125 brass vases from a St. Petersburg cemetery to dispose of the metal against money.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas Deck Jr., 31, of St. Petersburg, took the brass bases that were mounted on concrete headstones at gravesites throughout the cemetery.
The vases served as ornamental decorations and allowed visitors to place flowers.
Once stolen, the vases were then resold four times to a scrap dealer. Deputies said the transactions totaled 661 pounds of brass and sold for $1,149. The removal of the vases resulted in a loss of about $150,000 for the cemetery, authorities added.
Deck’s bike was also found in the cemetery which was about 150 feet from his home.
Deputies said Deck admitted finding the vases and keeping them for himself. He was charged with four counts of trafficking in stolen property, damaging or removing graves or monuments, and possession of fentanyl. Bail was set at $107,000.
“Memorial Park strives to maintain a serene, peaceful and dignified setting for our visiting client families and our visitors,” the cemetery said in a statement to News Channel 8. “The privacy of our client families is paramount. for the services we provide. Accordingly, we prefer not to comment on recently reported events. Memorial Park has always been and continues to be a proud citizen of our community.