Middlefield Grave Sites Targeted by Thieves

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCConnecticut.com
    Several urns worth several hundred dollars were stolen from a Middlefield cemetery and state police are investigating/

    Adding insult to injury, people are finding that grave sites of their loved ones in Middlefield are being targeted by thieves.

    Of the hundreds of tombstones lining the St. Sebastian Cemetery on Meriden Road, some have memorial urns that people use to leave flowers for their loved ones and at least 10 of those memorial urns were reported stolen this month.

    Connecticut State Police are trying to figure out who’s behind it.

    “We actually have some evidence and leads that we’re pursuing,” Lt. Paul Vance said.

    The urns cost about $500 each and Vance said investigators are working to make sure more aren’t stolen.

    “We’ve increased our patrol checks in the cemeteries. We have troopers that are in the area on a regular basis.”

    State police are advising people who have relatives buried at the St. Sebastian Cemetery, to make sure their memorial urns are still intact.

    Joseph and Josephine Bartolotta of Middletown were unaware the urns on the headstone they purchased 3 years ago were stolen until NBC Connecticut contacted them Tuesday afternoon.

    "This is the first time I'm hearing something like that," Josephine Bartolotta said. She travelled to the cemetery with her husband to see the damage, "Stealing things from the cemetery that's really awful. I can't believe it.

    Frank Vecchitto of Middletown comes to the cemetery once in a while to put flowers on the grave of a family member. He was shocked when he found out what had happened, "How low can you go really? I can't believe it."

    Connie Degra of Middlefield had a similar reaction when she read about the stolen urns in the paper this morning, "I was sick to my stomach thinking about it. How could they do that?"

    No suspects have been identified in the case. As state police continue their criminal investigation, they’re appealing to the public for help.

    “We’re asking anyone that has any information, to come forward, to contact us, even if it’s anonymously. We’ll take any additional information, so that we can bring closure for the families of these victims,” Vance said.