Man arrested, charged with thefts at Louisville cemetery

A man was caught on video stealing from peoples’ graves

Man arrested, charged with thefts at Louisville cemetery
Surveillance video from St. Stephen's Cemetery showed the suspected thief stealing from peoples' graves.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A man who was caught on video stealing flowers, lights and trinkets from graves at St. Stephen’s Cemetery has been captured by police.

Officers asked the public for help identifying the man and that quickly paid off.

Police said tips led to the arrest of James Reitz, 35. He’s charged with theft.

Susan Settles, who works with St. Stephen’s, said the thefts happened after she left the cemetery at 5 p.m. on Saturday night.

Sunday morning, Settles was called by a family asking where flowers on a grave were moved.

Flowers--especially red and white roses--were taken, as were lots of solar lights. At one point, officials said, video showed a man they believe to be Reitz unscrewing a vase from a headstone. The man in the video also took shepherd’s hooks, ornaments and a pink birdcage from peoples’ graves.

When officers arrested Reitz, they recovered much of the stolen property.

Police said those with loved ones in the cemetery should look at the below photos to see if they recognize anything.

(Source: LMPD)
(Source: LMPD)
(Source: LMPD)
(Source: LMPD)

Officers suggest loved ones call Settles at the cemetery at 502-634-0890 if they recognize any items.

St. Stephen’s Cemetery, located in the 1800 block of Preston Highway, has come far in recent years.

In 2017, conditions at St. Stephens were bleak. Vandals routinely targeted the property, and theft was common. Over the past few years, the cemetery has worked hard to clean itself up and recover from damage.

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