One arrested, one sought in cemetery theft

Published 8:19 pm Friday, September 20, 2019

WINTON – One person has been arrested while another is sought in connection for the theft of numerous graveside urns at Highland Memorial Gardens.

Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes said 20-year-old Thomas Edward Goodman Jr. of Thompson Road, Colerain, was recently arrested. He stands charged with 27 felony counts of disturbing a casket/grave marker, and one felony count each of larceny, possession of stolen property, and obtaining property by false pretense.

Upon his arrest, Goodman was jailed under a $70,000 secured bond.

Meanwhile, the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office is seeking another individual in this case, 40-year-old Tony Dewayne Mabine of Saunders Park Lane, Ahoskie. Hayes said Mabine faces the same charges as Goodman.

“Anyone with information on Mr. Mabine’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 252-358-7800. All we need is your information, not your name.”

According to the investigation report, the missing urns were noticed by Highland Memorial Gardens staff on Aug. 12. HCSO deputies began their investigation at this point.

Four days later (Aug. 16), HCSO Deputy William Lassiter received a phone call from Milestone Metals, a recycling center located on US 13 south of Ahoskie, which is near Highland Memorial Gardens. Lassiter noted in his report that the business had what appeared to be cemetery style brass vases/urns in their possession. Those vases/urns had been cut into smaller pieces.

The paperwork on file at Milestone Metals regarding their purchase of those vases/urns showed that Goodman bought them in shortly after 4 p.m. on Aug. 13. Security camera photos also showed another individual accompanying Goodman that day at Milestone Metals. The identity of that person was later revealed as Mabine.

Meanwhile, HCSO Sgt. Scott Cofield took the evidence (the cut up vases/urns) to the residence of the manager of Highland Memorial Gardens. She identified and confirmed that those items, valued at $350 each, came from her cemetery.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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