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Cemetery Vases Stolen In East Stroudsburg

EAST STROUDSBURG — Police are investigating another case of thieves stealing bronze vases from a cemetery, this one in the Poconos where more than 200 were swiped.

Stroud Area Regional Police say some of the bronze flower vases began to disappear at the end of February.  Then another batch in March went missing. While police are investigating, a local scrapyard is also on the lookout.

At Prospect Cemetery in East Stroudsburg, police are investigating a crime that has some people in the community disgusted.

“That’s just sickening, that people steal from cemeteries,” said Mike Olejar. “It’s just sickening.”

According to the Stroud Area Regional Police, thieves stole at least 243 bronze flower vases at the cemetery. Police say dozens were stolen at the end of February and then again at the end of March.

Mike Olejar is the general manager of APS Recycling in Stroudsburg. He accepts scrap metal and pays people for what they bring in. He says he’s always on the lookout for certain metals that come into his business.

“Anything that looks like it belongs as part of a cemetery or something, we absolutely won’t accept it without the right paperwork. I don’t know where they took that stuff but I can guarantee it won’t come here.”

When someone comes to APS Recycling in Stroudsburg to cash in their scrap metal, the workers will ask a couple questions. They’ll first ask for your license and make a copy of it. Then after that, they’ll jot down your license plate number. Then if something doesn’t seem to be matching up these guys say they will contact the police.

“We are in close contact with just about every local and regional police department. We have watch lists of things. We knew about this theft before you did. So we have been on the lookout for anyone bringing something in like that,” said Olejar.

The Stroud Area Regional Police are looking to see if the thefts of bronze flower vases at Prospect Cemetery in East Stroudsburg are related to a similar case at Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton, which we reported on Monday. Police say the two may be connected.


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