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Man Accused of Stealing Hundreds of Cemetery Vases is Behind Bars

Investigation leads to arrest of Hometown man.

A man believed to have stolen hundreds of brass vases worth more than $100,000 from several area cemeteries is in DuPage County Jail.

Elmhurst police on Aug. 5 arrested Jeffrey T. Burke, 35, of 8839 S. Main St. in Hometown. He is accused of stealing brass vases from grave markers at two Elmhurst cemeteries, from an unincorporated Will County cemetery and from other unidentified cemeteries.

Burke allegedly took the vases to a scrap yard to exchange them for cash. He was charged with felony theft. He also was charged with driving with a suspended license.

This is not the first time Burke has faced felony theft charges in DuPage County. In 2007, he pleaded guilty in a similar case and was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Burke is being held on $60,000 bond. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Elmhurst Police Det. Ed Coughlin at (630) 530-3077.

Patch reports on law enforcement activity using information provided by official agencies. Persons charged with a crime or issued a citation for violation of a local ordinance are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If you or a family member are charged with a crime or cited for a violation and the charge or citation is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to contact karenc@patch.com and we will do follow-up reporting on the case.

Jim Court August 10, 2011 at 04:47 PM
If the Elmhurst Police solved this case they deserve a big round of applause. What a despicable crime !
Ken August 11, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Let's hope he spends more than a few years in jail this time around.
Jim Court August 12, 2011 at 02:33 AM
Although I find any form of theft repulsive, I just read a book called "The Steal" by Rachel Shteir. It provides much insight into the subject and shows why successful people, with notoriety, fame, and plenty of money, get caught stealing .I believe that some similarities exist between gambling and stealing. In this case I am amazed by the lack of concern about the emotional impact to those who mourn the loss of someone. If this man is a sociopath there will be no ability to empathize nor concern for others. I sincerely wish the Patch would feature a detail article about the nature and behaviors of the sociopath. It would be a huge public service.

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