Four arrested in Breidablik grave desecrations
November 18, 2011 · Updated 9:36 AM
POULSBO — Four men were in custody Tuesday, suspected of desecrating about a dozen graves at Breidablik Community Evergreen Cemetery north of Poulsbo.
The desecration concerns the forced removal of brass name plaques from the grave sites. Many of the graves were those of military veterans. The thefts were discovered and reported to 9-1-1 on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives arrested three of the suspects Sunday at various locations in the county:
Brian Lindsay, 41, was arrested at about 10 a.m. in Silverdale and booked into jail on a charge of first-degree trafficking in stolen property. Bail: $50,000. Detectives determined this man purchased the stolen brass grave plaques, following the thefts, for about $200.
Joseph Felice of Poulsbo, 28, was arrested at 10:50 a.m. at a residence in the 25000 block of Pioneer Way NW, Poulsbo. He was booked into jail on charges of first-degree theft and first-degree trafficking in stolen property. Bail: $100,000.
Jeremy Toliver of Poulsbo, 38, was arrested at 11:40 a.m. at a residence in the 500 block of NE Lincoln Road, Poulsbo. He was booked into jail on charges of first-degree theft and first-degree trafficking in stolen property. Bail: $100,000.
The three were arraigned in Kitsap County District Court on Thursday.
A fourth suspect was taken into custody by Bremerton police around 4 a.m. Tuesday on Kitsap Way in Bremerton. Robert James McDonald, 40, was charged Tuesday afternoon in Kitsap County District Court (felony) with second-degree trafficking in stolen property. His bail was set at $35,000.
“Detectives have probable cause to suspect that both of the Poulsbo men are responsible for the actual thefts of the brass grave plaques from 12 grave sites in the cemetery,” sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilson reported. “Sheriff’s investigators determined that McDonald had attempted to sell the stolen plaques to a scrap metals dealership in the Gorst area of the county, south of Bremerton.”
During the investigation, detectives learned that most of the brass grave plaques were located on a residential property in the Chico area of Central Kitsap, Wilson reported. Sheriff’s deputies and detectives found the plaques in and around a garage on the property. Most of the plaques had been cut up into smaller pieces and the names obliterated by metal grinding.
Detectives have recovered 10 of the 12 brass grave plaques stolen from the North Kitsap cemetery. All the plaques sustained damage that can’t be repaired. Detectives estimate the total loss of the brass plaques, to the next-of-kin of those interred in the cemetery, at about $15,000. According to the website www.scrapmetalpricesandauctions.com, some scrap metal dealers were paying as much as $2.97 per pound for scrap brass in April.
Persons with information about the missing plaques should call Detective Lissa Gundrum at (360) 337-5669.