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Monday, June 24, 2013A 24-year-old Bensenville man has been charged with a felony in connection with theft of two dozen bronze vases from grave markers at two unincorporated Cook County cemeteries, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said today.

The Randhill and Shalom Memorial Park cemeteries located in the 1700 block of West Rand Road in unincorporated Arlington Heights called Sheriff’s Police about 1 p.m. Thursday to report the thefts of the approximately five-pound, foot-tall vases that occurred sometime between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

About an hour later, Sheriff’s investigators received a call from the Villa Park Police Department, which received information about a man selling grave marker bronze vases to a recycling center in 50 block of North Avenue. A man that matched the description of the seller was driving away from the recycling center when Villa Park officers arrived.
Officers conducted a traffic stop and saw– in plain view – bronze vases in his vehicle.

Vincent PetersonThe man, who was identified as Vincent Peterson, was wearing a Shalom Memorial Park Cemetery t-shirt. He is a former cemetery employee.

Sheriff’s Police took custody of Peterson. A total of 24 vases were recovered -- 14 in his vehicle and another 10 had been sold for $7 each to the recycling center. The vases are worth about $300 a piece.

A felony theft charge for Peterson was approved late Thursday.

Peterson received a $75,000 bond during his court appearance today at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. His next court date is scheduled for July 18 at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse.

Sheriff Dart would like to thank the Villa Park Police Department for their assistance in this case.

Sheriff Dart also reminds the public that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.

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