Theft charges filed

WELLSVILLE – Village police filed charges Tuesday in Columbiana County Municipal Court against a local woman reportedly found with items stolen from an area cemetery.

Kim Keller, 52, 404 Aten Ave., was charged with receiving stolen property, according to Lt. Marsha Eisenhart, who said the matter is also being reviewed by the county prosecutor, which could result in the case going to the grand jury.

Keller is accused of having in her possession a wreath that had been reported stolen from a grave at Columbiana County Memorial Park, a Calcutta cemetery.

The wreath had been placed at the grave of Paige DeSarro, whose mother, Dana Wright, had reported it stolen on Facebook April 22. Soon after, she was alerted that the colorful wreath had reportedly been seen at Keller’s residence, on display with other items.

Wright went to the home last week with police and found the wreath, also noticing an angel memorial a friend had reported stolen from another grave at the cemetery.

Both the wreath and angel have been recovered, but numerous other items also suspected to be from cemeteries remained at the home, police said.

The problem, Eisenhart said, is that few people have filed police reports regarding thefts from cemeteries, so proving that any of the items seen at Keller’s house came from cemeteries is difficult.

“We need police reports and pictures. We can’t just go in and unload her back yard,” Eisenhart explained, saying one theft victim asked if she could go peruse the items in Keller’s back yard to see if her missing item was there.

Those who have had thefts are being encouraged to file police reports and pictures, if possible, with the police department in the jurisdiction from where the items were stolen.

Asked if Keller gave a reason for having the items, Eisenhart said Keller and her sister, who she did not identify, “blamed each other” for the alleged thefts but Keller took the charges on herself.

Meanwhile, she said any theft charges stemming from the recovered items would have to be filed by St. Clair Township police.

St. Clair Township police Detective Brian McKenzie said no charges have been filed yet, but the investigation is on-going.

“We will work in conjunction with Wellsville Police Department,” he said of the case.