Police trying to return statues stolen from Ill. cemetery

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by Chris Stanford / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 3 at 10:50 PM

(KMOV.com) - Statues stolen from at least one Metro East cemetery have been recovered and police are trying to return the items to their rightful owners.

Police said the stone angel statues were reported missing from Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto between March 30 to April 2. 

“It's difficult to think that anybody would do something like this, to disrespect the family and their loved ones,” said Steven Cooper the Family Services Counselor at Rose Lawn Memory Gardens.

 Most of the statues were placed by memorial benches. Several families called Rose Lawn Memory Gardens after the statue were taken, Cooper said.

“It's pretty low, it's pretty despicable,” said Bethalto Police Lieutenant Craig Welch.

11 of the 25 statues have been returned the theft victims, but police have not heard from the owners of the remaining 14 statues.

Nicholas and Nathan Cato were arrested after police said the brothers sold the stolen goods to a local dealer, who identified the young men.  Both men were charged with felonies and Nicholas Cato, 21, is serving two years in prison for stealing the selling the statues.  Nathan Cato, 18, is waiting for his day in court.

Nicholas Cato has a prior burglary and theft conviction.

 Police said the Cato brothers are from Meadowbrook and have been known to spend time in Madison, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties.   Authorities said it’s unknown where all of the stolen items came from.

Call Bethalto police at (618) 377-5266 for information on how to return the statues to their owners.

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