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Man arrested for robbing from LA mausoleum

October 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man was arrested for allegedly robbing from the dead at a Los Angeles County mausoleum.

An alert member of the staff at Green Hills Memorial Park is being credited for helping to make an arrest in this case. Investigators aren't saying what items the thief was trying to steal.

The Pacifica North Court is one of several mausoleums at Green Hills Memorial Park. Inside, there are dozens of glass cremation niches where families place urns and personal belongings of their loved ones.

After three thefts at the mausoleum in recent weeks, police arrested 21-year-old James Haggstrom of Torrance. Officials said he was acting suspiciously about 100 yards away.

"Lomita sheriff's deputies responded to a call of a man basically burglarizing a niche in the mausoleum and going through deceased people's belongings. When they responded, they found him basically taking these deceased persons' belongings, " said Nicole Nishida of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Haggstrom was arrested last Wednesday and investigators said he had some deceased people's personal belongings on him at the time and more items were recovered at his residence.

"I've heard talk of a necklace, but I don't really have any particulars there. There are not often really valuable pieces in there, although some can look a little more valuable," said Ray Frew, president of Green Hills Memorial Park.

Frew said steps have already been taken to better secure the niches in hopes that this never happens again.

Haggstrom is currently on probation for burglary. He was charged on Friday with two felony counts of burglary. He is expected to appear in court on Nov. 4.

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