A former cemetery worker from Bensenville pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that he stole 24 bronze vases from graves in Shalom Memorial Park and Randhill Park, adjacent cemeteries located in an unincorporated area near Arlington Heights, court records show.
Vincent Peterson, 24, pleaded guilty to the theft charges in exchange for a sentence of 24 months probation and 39 days in Cook County Jail. Cook County Judge Jill Cerone Marisie awarded Peterson credit for the 29 days he has spent in jail since his arrest last month after authorities say he tried to sell the vases to a Villa Park auto parts store and recycling center.
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Marisie also ordered Peterson pay $709 in fines and have no contact with the victims, court records show.
Peterson had worked at Shalom Memorial Park but was terminated about five years ago, authorities said. He was reportedly wearing a Shalom Memorial Park T-shirt when he sold 10 of the five-pound, foot-tall vases for $7 each. A store employee alerted Villa Park police, who arrived at the store as Peterson was leaving. They conducted a traffic stop and found the remaining 14 vases in his car in plain view, sheriff's police said.