Rhode Island Grave Robbers

As reported by Alicia Pina in the July 2, 2015 edition of the Providence Journal, two (2) men have been arrested and charged with receiving stolen goods and conspiracy. The men are accused of stealing brass markers and vases from a local cemetery in West Warwick. The men stole the items and sold them to a scrapyard in Johnston. The value of the markers and vases exceeded $20,000.

Another grave theft recently occurred at the Rhode Island Veterans’ Cemetery. A cemetery employee stole granite grave markers and was using them in his home as flooring. He was charged federally with stealing government property. He has admitted his guilt and will be sentenced later this summer.

Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 11-41-2, receiving stolen goods is defined as every person who shall fraudulently receive any stolen money, goods, securities, chattels, or other property, knowing it to be stolen, shall be deemed guilty of larceny, although the person who stole the property may not have been prosecuted or convicted for it. The possession of any stolen property shall be evidence of guilty knowledge by the person having possession that the property was stolen, unless the person shows that it was acquired in the due course of trade and for adequate consideration.

The penalties vary based on the value of the stolen items. Items valued at $1,500.00 or less is misdemeanor larceny, which is punishable by up to one (1) year imprisonment and/or $500.00 fine. Items valued over $1,500.00 is felony larceny, which is punishable by up to ten (10) years imprisonment and/or $5,000.00 fine.

Conspiracy is defined as every person who shall conspire with another to commit an offense punishable under the laws of this state shall be subject to the same fine and imprisonment as pertain to the offense which the person shall have conspired to commit, provided that imprisonment for the conspiracy shall not exceed ten (10) years. In this case, the men are charged with felony conspiracy because they were conspiring to commit felony larceny.

If you or a family member has been charged with receiving stolen goods, robbery or burglary, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey’s reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at

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