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Memorial Day weekend doesn't stop gravesite thefts

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By Mallory Bilger

MOUNT WASHINGTON -- Crimes involving gravesites don't stop, even for Memorial Day weekend.

Mount Washington police with assistance from Shepherdsville units arrested Mount Washington residents Geraline Hilbert, 63, and her grandson, Joshua Taggart, 21, Saturday after the two allegedly stole 22 bronze vases from Highland Memory Gardens gravesites around 8 a.m. The vases had a total estimated value of $13,000.

Det. Buddy Stump of Mount Washington police said a Highland Memory Gardens staff member witnessed the crime and contacted police. Shepherdsville police later located a vehicle fitting the witness' description at a local salvage yard. Stump said the suspects were attempting to sell the metal when they were apprehended.

"Shepherdsville caught them while they were trying to scrap them," Stump said.

Hilbert and Taggart are each charged with theft by unlawful taking over $300 and 22 counts of violating a grave.

Police recovered the vases and Stump said he would work with the cemetery's staff to return them to the proper sites.

The suspects are being housed at the Bullitt County Detention Center.

Stump said it was ironic that the crime happened over Memorial Day weekend.