SANFORD, Fla. - Sanford police are calling it one of the most despicable crimes they've ever seen: Thieves stealing from graves in Central Florida.
[PICS: Stolen vases recovered]
The thieves are going after the vases, which were placed next to a headstone.
"They've sunken to a new low, stealing from graveyards," said Sanford police Captain James McAuliffe. "It's despicable."
McAuliffe said the vases, which are usually made of brass, bronze, or copper are attractive to thieves hoping to sell the precious metal by the pound.
Police arrested 21-year-old Colby Costello on Sunday after they say he stole 200 vases at All Souls Catholic Cemetery in Sanford.
But the crime still keeps happening at other cemeteries in Sanford and DeLand.
It happened to Robert Smith, whose wife's best friend's vase was stolen.
"How could anybody do something like this?" asked Smith. "People like that, there's nothing you can say."
After his wife discovered the missing vase, he reported it had been stolen and was finally able to get a replacement. But says he worries for the families who won't get that same chance.
"A lot of these families don't even know this is going on," said Smith. "A lot have moved out of the area, so they're not even here to even know that their loved one's vase is missing, and its just a shame."
Sanford police are working with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office to return the vases to their rightful owners.
They're also asking others to come forward if they believe a loved one's vase was stolen.
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