Police: St. Cloud woman stole dozens of items from grave sites



ST. CLOUD, Fla. - A St. Cloud woman is under arrest, accused of stealing from the dead.

Police said she had dozens of stolen items from Mount Peace Cemetery in St. Cloud at her home.

"We have 146 different items, and they were items taken from adult grave sites, baby, young (person's) grave sites and everything," said Chad Durham, spokesman for the St. Cloud Police Department.

The items ranged from flowers to small angels to decorative butterflies, according to police.

"She was not particular on what she took. If she liked it she took it. (She) took it home with her and put it in her yard, in her house, back yard and front yard," Durham.

Investigators said 35 of the stolen items were found on the front lawn at Debra Farinella's St. Cloud home.

They said someone saw Farinella taking items from the cemetery last week. They were able to get a partial license number and police tracked it down to Farinella.

Police said that's when they came upon the stash of grave site items.

According to police Farinella told detectives she bought some of the stuff at a garage sale.

She was arrested today and charged with grand theft.

"To find this many things in one home from grave sites is just astonishing to us. We really can't believe it," Durham.

According to police at least six people have come forward to report the stolen items. They are hoping others will call them if they recognize any of the stuff left behind for those who've passed on.

Victim Cindy Heath said she has left small items for her mother, grandmother, grandfather and cousin over the years.
"It brings a tear to your eye knowing these come off a grave," Heath said.

A neighbor told Channel 9's Ryan Hughes that they thought the most disgusting theft was from a grave site of a boy who passed away at 16. Family members left him a baseball and that was among the items stolen.

Farinella has been arrested for petty theft in the past, police said.