Cedar Rapids man accused of stealing 118 vases from Cedar Memorial Cemetery

Police: Brass vases valued at estimated $25,000

A vase at Cedar Memorial Cemetery in Cedar Rapids. (image via Cedar Rapids police)
A vase at Cedar Memorial Cemetery in Cedar Rapids. (image via Cedar Rapids police)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man is accused of stealing brass vases from more than 100 gravesites at Cedar Memorial Cemetery.

According to the Linn County Attorney’s Office and Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman Greg Buelow, officers pulled over Michael A. Carroll, 40, no permanent address, around 1:07 a.m. July 11 in the area of First Street and First Avenue West for a faulty brake light. Buelow said Carroll was ultimately arrested for providing false identification, violating a no contact order, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, failure to provide proof of financial liability and no driver’s license. He also had two warrants out of Cedar County for child endangerment.

Police said when they took inventory of the contents in the 2001 Chevrolet Suburban Carroll was driving, they discovered 33 vases commonly found on gravesites. The following day, the police department received a report from Cedar Memorial informing them that 118 brass vases had been stolen, dating back to the end of June.

Buelow said the vases were valued at approximately $25,000.

Investigators learned that a majority of the vases had been sold to recycling centers, including 72 to Marion Iron. Buelow said Marion Iron saved the vases and cooperated with police in the investigation.

“They knew something was unusual about this transaction,” Buelow said.

Police ultimately recovered all but 13 of the vases, Buelow said.

Carroll was arrested again on Aug. 10 and faces one count of first-degree theft, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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