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Cops: 2 Took Antique Vale Cemetery Fence

July 29, 2008

By Lauren Stanforth, Albany Times Union, N.Y.

Jul. 29–SCHENECTADY — A man and a woman are in police custody this afternoon after they were allegedly caught stealing an antique iron fence that framed a family burial plot in Vale Cemetery, police said.

A person walking a dog near the Eastern Avenue side of the cemetery saw the two ripping the fence out of the ground and putting it in the back of a pick-up truck, said Schenectady police Lt. Brian Kilcullen. Kilcullen said there was a lot of other metal in the truck, but he wasn’t sure if any of the rest of it was from the cemetery. The two suspects were apprehended before they left the cemetery grounds.

Lynette Kulchinsky, 44, of Prospect Street, and Christopher VanWormer, 25, of Eastern Avenue, were charged with one count each of fourth-degree grand larceny, police said. Kulchinsky was also charged with felony driving while ability impaired.

Bernie McEvoy, cemetery board president, said the 151-year-old cemetery is often plagued by vandalism, but stealing iron for scrap is something new. The iron, “would have probably been worth more to an antiques dealer,” McEvoy said.

McEvoy said at the same time of the alleged theft, he was posting new signs in the cemetery offering a $500 reward for those who report vandalism. He said the plot in question likely dates back to the 1860s or 1870s.

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