June 27, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Man denies thefts of emblems from cemetery

MEDINA — The Sterling man accused of selling bronze emblems taken from the graves of veterans to a local scrap dealer pleaded not guilty Monday to a felony charge of receiving stolen property.
Chad Dean, 27, was arrested July 12 after an investigation by the Medina County Sheriff’s Office that was spurred by a call from an area scrap dealer, Detective Jim Foraker said.
The emblems, which came from Rittman Cemetery in Wayne County, were taken from the tombstones of those who served in World War I, World War II and Vietnam, Foraker said.
Out of the approximately 60 emblems taken from the cemetery, about 45 were recovered. The thefts took place over a period of a few weeks. The bronze emblems, which altogether weighed approximately 110 pounds, are worth more than $1 a pound, Foraker said.
Dean also was arraigned Monday on two unrelated charges of misuse of a credit card and theft of a credit card, fifth-degree felonies, in Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier’s court.
A trial is scheduled for Sept. 26. A fifth-degree felony is punishable by up to a year in prison.
He also was sentenced last Wednesday to 90 days in jail on two counts of misuse of a credit card and one count of possession of drug abuse instruments in Wadsworth Municipal Court. He remains in the Medina County Jail.
Several metal thefts, including bronze urns and brass emblems, have been reported at local cemeteries in the last few months, Foraker said.