Belfast police: Cemetery thefts solved, woman arrested

Posted Sept. 05, 2014, at 12:32 p.m.
Joyce A. Christie
Waldo County Jail
Joyce A. Christie

BELFAST, Maine — A woman who admitted to stealing solar lights and plants from Grove Cemetery in Belfast has been arrested, according to police.

Joyce A. Christie, 62, of Belfast, has been charged with felony theft, desecration and defacement, Belfast police said Friday.

The department had put out a plea to various media outlets on Wednesday, asking for the public’s help in solving the cemetery thefts, which Chief Mike McFadden described as “among the lower things” a person could do.

Detective Bryan Cunningham said Friday that a sharp-eyed citizen called police Thursday morning to say that he or she had seen a woman who lives at the Bluebird Circle mobile home park in Belfast pushing a shopping cart up Swan Lake Avenue that was full of plants and solar lights.

“And suddenly there were solar lights around the trailer,” Cunningham said.

So the detective went to Christie’s home, bringing with him a person who had reported a blue globe solar light and a hanging planter had gone missing from the cemetery earlier this week. The victim was able to identify the blue globe light as one of the lights around the trailer. The detective also saw many other solar lights at the mobile home, including ones in the shape of a cross, hummingbird and butterfly that had been reported stolen on Sunday.

Christie admitted to the thefts, Cunningham said. The theft charge was elevated to felony level because she has had two prior theft convictions in the past decade, he said. Because of the felony charge, Christie was arrested and taken to Waldo County Jail. She has since been released on $100 cash bail, according to a jail official.

Cunningham said the department is glad to have been able to solve the case, and happy to return the stolen items to the cemetery caretaker.

 

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