Woman arrested for stealing more than 100 items from graves - WNEM TV 5

Woman arrested for stealing more than 100 items from graves

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CLIO, MI (WNEM) -

Authorities say they have recovered more than 180 items stolen from two different cemeteries spread out over six different locations. 

Police arrested 44-year-old Lisa Corcoran of Vienna Township in the thefts. She is charged with larceny, a five-year felony. 

Investigators said Corcoran used the items to decorate her house. The items recovered have an estimated value of more than $1,000, police said. 

Among the items stolen was a decorative bench reported missing earlier this month from the grave of a young woman killed by cancer.

"There's not a day I don't miss my wife," said Mitchell Neeley.

He and Dana had a connection dating back to junior high when they sang together in choir. They went their separate ways in life, but reconnected in 2011.

They were married for almost three years when Dana suffered a heart attack and died suddenly in 2015.

"When you lose a spouse or a child or anyone that you're extremely close to, it is incredibly difficult to recover from that," Neeley said.

He still struggles to overcome his loss. He finds peace at West Vienna Cemetery in Clio where he decorated Dana's headstone with sentimental items from their marriage ceremony. Those items were stolen several weeks ago.

"To have this happen, it was reopening those same wounds all over again," Neeley said.

He and several families across the area were met with a delightful surprise Wednesday morning when Genesee County Sheriff's deputies recovered a host of items that were taken from local cemeteries.

"We have somebody that we've arrested that was stealing from a cemetery," Sheriff Robert Pickell said.

Neeley said he never thought he would see the items again.

"They were irreplaceable and I am just grateful for the person that phoned in the tip that led to the recovery of not only my items, but many other people," Neeley said.

Mitchell immediately returned the angel and lantern to Dana's resting place. He said he harbors no ill will towards the person who took the precious items.

"I do forgive her for this act. I don't understand it, but I just hope she can forgive herself as I forgive her," Neeley said.

Officials said Corcoran has a history of being a thief. She also may have some possible mental health issues, police said. 

She has requested a court-appointed attorney.

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