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17-015
Release Date: April 28, 2017


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Cemetery Theft Arrest:  Over the past several months, this department has received multiple reports of flowers, plants and other items that have been stolen from graves at the First Reformed Church Cemetery in Pompton Plains.   Det. Kevin Ricciardi, assisted by other members of the detective bureau, initiated an investigation which included replacing two of the missing plants in front of an ash columbarium and installing surveillance cameras in the area on April 21, 2017.  Two days later, the property managers of the cemetery contacted detectives to report that the plants were missing.  Detectives viewed the still photos from the surveillance cameras and were able to observe a woman approach the location in a silver minivan, exit the vehicle and remove the plants.  In discussing the case with members of the Riverdale Police Department, their officers were able to positively identify the suspect from video footage, as a former police dispatcher and current flower shop owner from their town.  As a result of the evidence and positive identification, Lynda S. Wingate, 59 years old from Riverdale, was arrested and processed.  Ms. Wingate was charged with theft of moveable property and released.  She has a pending appearance in municipal court.
 
Issued by:
Capt. Christopher DePuyt                       
Operations & Public Information Officer  

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