Illinois Graveyard Bandit Nabbed in the Act – 190 Copper Vases Seized by Police


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MONEE TOWNSHIP, Illinois – A Sauk Village man found himself behind bars after an alleged brazen cemetery heist allegedly involving 190 copper vases, valued at over $57,000, stolen from Skyline Memorial Park and Crematory.

According to Will County Sheriff’s Police, it happened early Friday at 9 a.m. when the suspect, identified as Peter F. Dobrzeniecki, 36, of Sauk Village, was allegedly stacking the copper vases like grim trophies in the serene setting of the cemetery located at 24800 Governors Highway in Monee Township. The startling caper unfolded when a swift response to a theft call by Will County Sheriff’s Police led them to Dobrzeniecki.

Seemingly unfazed by the sacredness of the location, Dobrzeniecki was apprehended in the act, arranging the copper vases with intentions to reportedly make an daring getaway. Adding to the damning evidence, a duffle bag, later claimed as his, was discovered nearby containing an additional 12 copper vases.

According to a Skyline Memorial Park employee, each vase held a substantial value of $300. However, the audacity of Dobrzeniecki’s actions truly came to light during his interrogation. That’s when police report he confessed to a series of vase thefts dating back to January 2023, with estimates of stealing between 60 to 90 vases in ten separate incidents. More bewildering, he admitted to selling these stolen vases at a mere $15 per vase to a local business.

Facing a litany of grave charges, including Felony Theft and Violation of the Cemetery Protection Act Theft, Dobrzeniecki’s legal troubles have multiplied. To compound his predicament, it was revealed that he had two active warrants in Cook County.

Sheriff Mike Kelley, in a press release, offered solace to the affected families, saying, “We can now bring some closure to the families affected by the desecration of their loved one’s final resting place. This was a true team effort arrest by all Will County Sheriff’s Office personnel involved.”


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