Natrona County Sheriff’s Office Seeks New Victims in Vase Theft Case
The Natrona County Sheriff's Office is asking those with loved ones buried in or near Casper to check burial sites for missing property -- specifically, brass memorial vases.
Sheriff's officials told reporters Wednesday that as many as 250 vases were missing from Memorial Garden Cemetery. After receiving new information, Sgt. Aaron Shatto said Thursday as many as 400-600 vases may have been taken from local cemeteries.
At least one victim has been identified in the theft of a vase from Highland Cemetery, but authorities are asking the public to check for missing property from all area cemeteries. Hearing from new victims will help authorities investigate and prosecute, and hopefully will lead to any missing vases being returned to the rightful owners.
However, a number of the vases -- possibly 100 -- recovered had already been broken or cut into pieces.
Janna L. Szynskie, 51, was arrested Tuesday on charges of theft, receiving and concealing stolen property and property damage. Her bond was set at $5,000 during her initial appearance Wednesday in Natrona County Circuit Court.
She allegedly admitted to stealing over 100 brass vases from Memorial Garden Cemetery. Initial estimates put the value of the damage Szynskie allegedly caused at $39,200, but now that figure seems to have increased significantly.
Receipts obtained by investigators showed Szynskie took 2,727 pounds of brass vases to be recycled and received $2,895.80 in return, according to the affidavit.
The vases which have already been recovered are valued at $400-$750 each. Investigators are still working the case, and have found several specialty vases considered to be of higher value -- as much as $800.
Anyone who finds the burial plot of a loved one to be missing property can call the Natrona County Sheriff's Office at 235-9282.
Vases that have already been recovered are being held as evidence. The sheriff's office aims to return those vases to the proper owners, but that process will take some time.