Natrona County Authorities Working to Return Stolen Memorial Vases
The Natrona County Sheriff's Office is working to determine the best way to return memorial vases stolen from Casper-area gravesites earlier this year.
Janna L. Szynskie, 51, was sentenced Nov. 1 to a seven- to 10-year prison term after admitting to stealing the brass vases and trying to sell them as scrap.
During that sentencing hearing, Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen said 374 victims have been identified, with 471 vases stolen in total.
Blonigen put the cost of replacement at $368 per vase, and requested Szynskie be ordered to pay $173,328 in restitution. Szynskie was ordered to pay $40,500 in restitution.
The Natrona County Sheriff's Office was holding the vases as evidence as the case made its way through Natrona County District Court, but Sgt. Aaron Shatto told reporters Friday morning that authorities are now trying to figure out the best way to return the vases.
Shatto could not go into specifics, as the plan is still in the works. He hoped to have a plan finalized by the end of next week, and said he would release further details once the best method has been decided upon.
Earlier this year, at Szynskie's change-of-plea hearing, Blonigen described the case as a "restitution nightmare," and said it would be very difficult to return each vase to its rightful owner due to the similar appearance of the vases.
Szynskie, after stealing the vases, sold them as scrap to a recycling company, receiving some $2,900 in exchange. The company, to their credit, quickly realized that something illegal was going on, and preserved the vast majority of the vases sold by Szynskie.