Local News

Goldboro police bust alleged cemetery thief

Posted September 30, 2008

— Goldsboro police on Tuesday arrested a man they believe was stealing vases from Wayne Memorial Park Cemetery on N.C. Highway 117 in Dudley.

Michael Scott Butts, of 815 E. Walnut St. in Goldsboro, said he got the idea from news reports about a similar cemetery theft.

Cemetery owners reported about 30 bronze flower vases, worth about $300 each, stolen over the past week.

Detectives recovered six of the vases at a local scrap yard. Butts told detectives he had hidden seven other vases in a wooded area.

Wayne County Sheriff Carey A. Winders urged scrap yards to help in policing cases like this.

"Salvage yards purchasing these types of items have to know that they are very unique items and are more than likely stolen," he said.

"The salvage yard owners need to educate their employees and instruct them to cooperate and contact local law enforcement when undamaged items this unique are brought to them to be sold as junk."

He praised scrap yards that cooperate with law enforcement and asked for wider participation in identifying possibly stolen metal sold as scrap. "We need all of them to cooperate with us and contact us when suspicious items are brought to them."


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  • gammasandi Sep 30, 2008

    it is bad enough that we have a common low-life stealing vases from the cemetery-now we need to "educate" salvage employees about stolen goods-please do not insult our intelligence-how about a few charges of receiving and possessing stolen goods to get somebody's attention!

  • RetGr6 Sep 30, 2008

    Well, duh! Anybody who missed the first story can now get their idea from this story. Giving people the idea to commit a crime is not cool!

  • teach4ever67 Sep 30, 2008

    Let me see if I understand this. Before I even opened the article, my first thought was not that they have done a news article on the other cemetery we are now going to see more of this. I then open the article and the guy admits that he got the idea from the recent news article. So what do the responsible journalist do? They release ANOTHER news article about this type of crime.

    I guess this is the world we live in...

  • Funky Neighbor LEE Sep 30, 2008

    re: said he got the idea from news reports about a similar cemetery theft."

    maybe he should have got a Clue from the fact that they caught the last person that did this too.

  • CrewMax Sep 30, 2008

    I think his sentence should be to have to mow the cemetary for
    a couple of years. But, first he should raise all of the urns and
    mow around them. When he is done he then has to put each urn back
    down. If only I was the judge...

  • twc Sep 30, 2008

    Wow!! Can't even use the thief's last name without censorship kicking it back. And can't even use the words I want to describe that censorship!!!

  • twc Sep 30, 2008

    Maybe he was just taking them to put his "buts" in. Throw the book at the immoral thief!!!