Two men have been charged with stealing brass grave vases from cemeteries in the Seattle area, says the Seattle Times. It is the latest twist in a growing problem of metal theft. At least 200 vases have been stolen in the past few weeks two cemetaries. The 5-pound vases cost about $150 each. As the price of scrap metal soars, thieves have targeted aluminum freeway guardrails, traffic signs, and copper wiring, which they sell to metal recyclers. Construction sites, farms and city transportation departments are among the hardest hit.
“Metal theft is the crime du jour,” said a sheriff’s office spokesman. The theft of funeral vases, used to hold flowers placed at gravesites, is something new. Police have notified recyclers to be on the lookout for thieves who may be trying to sell stolen scrap metal. “How low can you go?” said Marc Sidell of Seattle Iron & Metals. “People aren’t even safe after they die.”