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Stolen urn found, suspect caught on surveillance
EUREKA- A stolen urn from a North Coast cemetery containing cremated remains was recovered Sunday night and the suspect was caught on surveillance footage. Ocean View Cemetery Administrator Don McCombs said,
"The reaction unfortunately is horror and disgust, this a place to honor our loved ones."
On Tuesday the Eureka Police Department obtained surveillance footage from the cemetery that showed the suspect police believe stole a bronze plated urn.
McCombs said, “I saw a man come in the front door. We had seen him before, he looked suspicious, we followed him around a little bit but he was not doing anything wrong at the time."
He was roaming the halls of the Mausoleum around 3 p.m. but McCombs said something did not feel right,
"He ducked around the corners, he deliberately avoided people."
On Wednesday, the following morning, cemetery staff noticed the urn was missing from its niche, and after combing through surveillance footage spotted the same suspicious man seen Tuesday, but this time leaving with a hidden item underneath his clothing.
"It showed him with something in his jacket, it was very obvious that he had something," he said.
The urn was shiny, covered in bronze, and a likely item that thieves are drawn to at the cemetery said McCombs, but an unlikely item if they are trying to sell it,
"We have people who are stealing the bronze for recycling but recycling companies require identification before they purchase the bronze, and they will not accept it if it’s stolen."
Police found the urn Sunday on the 2900 block of B Street in Eureka, but with the ashes unaccounted for.
McCombs said, "This is a place to memorialize the lives of those who have gone, this is just horrific."
Police are still searching for the suspect he is described as a man in his thirties, medium build, wearing dark shoes with white soles, a gray hooded sweatshirt with writing on the front and a black baseball cap. It appears the man changed his clothing to a gray short-sleeved shirt with a checkered pattern and then put on a dark beanie. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4044.