By Rosemary Regina Sobol
1:55 PM CDT, September 19, 2013
Two suburban men are accused of stealing bronze vases from Rosehill Cemetery plots Wednesday after Kendall County authorities alerted Chicago police the pair might be there and are suspected of similar thefts in Kendall County, authorities said.
A judge today set bail at $30,000 each for David Ryan and Vincent Tervel.
Ryan and Tervel are both charged with felony theft, according to Cook County state's attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton. Tervel also is charged with possession of burglar tools and heroin possession.
Ryan, 29, of the 400 block of Burr Oak Drive in Oswego and Tervel, 36, of the 800 block of Longview Court in Sugar Grove, were both arrested at 2:05 p.m. Wednesday at Rosehill Cemetery, at 5800 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago police said.
Officers found the men within minutes after they received information from the Kendall County sheriff’s department that the men were in the cemetery driving a blue Audi and possibly stealing the vases from cemetery plots, according to a police report.
The two are suspected of "substantially similar"’ thefts from cemeteries in their county, said Kendall County sheriff's deputy Bryan Harl, who could not release details immediately. The sheriff's office also told Chicago police they both had active warrants and have been known to fight with police, according to the report; they had also allegedly tried to run over a Kendall County officer in the past.
When police approached the Audi, which was parked 100 yards east of the Western Avenue/Bryn Mawr entrance, they saw Ryan coming toward the vehicle from the plots hiding something in his sweatshirt and then placing a bronze vase in the Audi, as Tervel was seen about 30 feet away walking around near other plots, according to police.
Officers learned through the sheriff's office they could be in possession of a weapon and saw, in "plain view," a bronze vase with dirt on it behind the driver's side floor. The two could not give a valid reason why they were in the cemetery, the report said.
Police investigated further and found five additional bronze vases and a backpack filled with burglary tools in the trunk, the report said. The values of the vases was estimated to be more than $500.
Officers who searched Tervel found "a yellow strip containing 13 foil packets with suspect heroin,'' according to the report.
Warrants for their arrest were issued Sept. 13 in an incident that occurred on Sept. 11 when deputies were trying to take Ryan into custody on another warrant out of Montgomery, Harl said.
"They (deputies) were met with resistance," Harl said. Ryan was charged with aggravated battery to a police officer, resisting a police officer, and his bail was set at $100,000 in the warrant, Harl said.
Tervel's bail was also $100,000 and he was charged with aggravated assault to a police officer, obstructing a peace officer, reckless driving, and driving on a revoked license, Harl said.
Rosehill spokeswoman Jessica McDunn said the vases, usually placed in grave markers to hold flowers, are considered cemetery property.
"Unfortunately thefts of bronze at cemeteries is an issue across North America," said McDunn, who also said they are in the process of notifying the families whose plots were involved.
"It's our thought that as the price of metal rises, the theft rises," she said.
McDunn said she did not immediately have a description of the vases and was not sure how old they are. "There are numerous types," she said.
McDunn said nothing else was damaged in Rosehill on Wednesday and said the cemetery is "fully cooperating" with police and their investigation. She declined to say how much of the property was recovered.
Many prominent Chicagoans are buried at Rosehill but it was not immediately known which families were affected.
"We are working to determine where exactly they were taken from," McDunn said.
McDunn said anyone who suspects a similar crime has occurred to their plot should contact Rosehill, (773) 561-5940.
RedEye reporter Rachel Cromidas contributed to this report.
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