CINNAMINSON, N.J. (CBS) — Three New Jersey women are behind bars for a crime that is becoming more and more common, according to police. Authorities say they stole brass markers from the graves of veterans at local cemeteries and sold the stolen markers to a scrap yard.
Authorities tell Eyewitness News the suspects needed drug money.
“You need money that bad, you have to start desecrating a grave?” said Sgt. Bill Covert with the Cinnaminson Police Department.
Covert, who is a veteran himself, said that he was shocked to learn that someone would sink that low.
Authorities say the women they arrested are responsible for stealing 380 grave markers and flower urns from local cemeteries, including St. Mary’s in Bellmawr and Lakeview Memorial Cemetery in Cinnaminson.
Police say 19-year-old Arielle Levin, 25-year-old Tosha Fugett and 27-year-old Jamie Babcock didn’t care about the meaning behind the collection, all they cared about was the cash.
All three are in county jail and have been charged with Theft and Fencing Stolen Property.
Sgt. Covert says a Philadelphia scrap dealer who paid around $1,500 for the stolen goods is the one who tipped off authorities.
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“He engaged them in conversation and one girl said they got the markers from Lakeview because her uncle worked there,” said Sgt. Covert. “As soon as they mentioned they came from Lakeview in Cinnaminson, he contacted Lakeview and they contacted us.”
Police say if no one comes forward to claim markers, they’ll go to local Veterans organizations.
Reported by Jericka Duncan, CBS 3