Welland men arrested in cemetery robberies

Handcuffs Mar 3

Three Welland men have been charged for stealing from 289 grave sites.

Niagara police began investigating after a theft was reported from a Pelham cemetery on Aug. 2.

Investigations revealed that thefts were made over several days.  

On Tuesday, police arrested four Welland residents in connection with the case. One person was released unconditionally.

Police say the thefts affected not only the business but the families of the respective grave sites as well.

Some of the stolen property was recovered, but some items had been damaged beyond repair

Joshua Hillgardner, 46 and Joseph Gaulin 48, face charges of possession of property obtained by crime over $5000; mischief over $5000; and trafficking in property obtained by crime over $5000.

A third Welland man, William Ostermaier 33, has been charged with possession of property obtained by crime over $5000.