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 scrap the metal for cash.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, 31-year-old Douglas Deck Jr. took the brass bases, which were mounted to concrete headstones on grave sites throughout the cemetery.
The vases served as ornamental decorations and allowed visitors to place flowers.
Once stolen, the vases were then sold on four separate occasions to a scrap metal dealer. Deputies said the deals totaled 661 lbs of brass and sold for $1,149. The removal of the vases resulted in a loss of approximately $150,000 to the cemetery, authorities added.
Deck’s bicycle was also found in the cemetery, which was roughly 150 feet from his home.
Deputies said Deck admitted to finding the vases and keeping them for himself. He was charged with four counts of dealing in stolen property, damage or remove tomb or monument, and possession of fentanyl.
Bond was set at $107,000.
“Memorial Park strives to maintain a serene, peaceful and dignified setting for our visiting client families and visitors,” the cemetery said in a statement. “The privacy of our client families is paramount to the services we provide. Accordingly, we prefer to not comment on recently reported events. Memorial Park has always and continues to be a proud citizen of our community.”