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Wellsville man accused of stealing plaques from veteran headstones


An alleged grave ghoul has been charged with stealing 13 bronze veteran plaques from an upstate New York cemetery.  

Eric T. Logue, 42, was arrested Thursday and charged with grand larceny, cemetery desecration, drug possession and criminal mischief, Wellsville police said.

The plaques are affixed to the granite headstones of veterans, stating their military branch, rank, the war they fought in, and birth and death dates. They cost $400 each and $150 to install.

Police did not offer a motive for the theft but observers believe the plaques might have been grabbed as scrap metal to sell. It is unclear if police recovered the stolen property, but locals were planning to replace them if not.

The plaques disappeared last month from Sacred Heart Cemetery in Wellsville, and the town has been on the hunt for the bronze burglar ever since. 

“It is just disgusting that this has happened,” said Chris Martelle, whose grandfather’s plaque was stolen. Edward G. Curtis Sr. served in World War II. His grandson became a lance corporal in the Marines.

Edward G. Curtis Sr., a Private First Class in World War II.
One of the graves belonged to Edward G. Curtis Sr., a Private First Class in World War II.
Courtesy of Chris Martelle
Chris Martelle's grandfather's headstone in Sacred Heart Cemetery before it was stolen.
Chris Martelle’s grandfather’s headstone in Sacred Heart Cemetery before it was stolen.
Courtesy of Chris Martelle
Graves with stolen plaques
The 42-year-old was arrested and charged with grand larceny, cemetery desecration, drug possession and criminal mischief.
Courtesy of Chris Martelle

Before Logue was arrested, families, civic groups and vets in the city put out a $13,000 reward in hopes of catching the thief.

“You won’t find one person who isn’t enraged,” said Richard Caruso, who served in the Marines and is a close friend of Martelle.

Logue was released on his own recognizance and could not be reached for comment.



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