Arrests made in theft from cemetery

NRP LogoNiagara Regional Police Service press release – On Friday, Aug. 2/2019, members of Niagara Regional Police began investigating a reported theft from a local cemetery.

As the investigation unfolded it became apparent that items from 289 gravesites were stolen over several days. The loss incurred by the thefts affected not only the business but the families of the respective gravesites as well.

Uniform officers and detectives from the 3 District Criminal Investigation Branch were aided in this investigation by community business partners.

On Tuesday, Aug. 6/2019, the investigation culminated with four arrests and the recovery of much of the stolen property. Some property had been damaged beyond repair.

Charged are the following:

Joshua Hillgardner, a 46-year-old Welland resident
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000, Section 355(a) CC
– Mischief Over $5000, Section 430(3) CC
– Trafficking in Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000, Section 355.5(a) CC]

Joseph Gaulin, a 48-year-old Welland resident
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000, Section 355(a) CC
– Mischief Over $5000, Section 430(3) CC
– Trafficking in Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000, Section 355.5(a) CC]

William Ostermaier, a 33-year-old Welland resident
– Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000, Section 355(a) CC

A fourth Welland resident was arrested but released unconditionally.