How much is the sanctity of our nation's honored dead worth to David Gillespie?
If he's guilty of what authorities believe, the answer is $124.
The dollar amount is specific because Gillespie, 26, got that amount for cemetery urns he allegedly stole off grave sites, most of them occupied by military veterans. And a lot of the items were spirited away.
Get the incredibly schmucky details below.
In May, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office received a call from Memorial Gardens in GJ about the theft of fifteen brass urns that had been attached to headstones at the cemetery.
The urns were valued at $600 apiece, bringing the total loss to approximately $9,000.
To answer your next question: No, the urns didn't contain human remains. Instead, they were used to hold flowers of the sort typically brought by family members.
The word went out to local recyclers to keep an eye out for the items -- and the following month, an employee with a business called Grand Junction Metal Movers proved that he'd done so.
A short time earlier, the report says, a man later identified as Gillespie showed up with eleven urns matching the description of those swiped from the cemetery. He said he'd inherited them from a grandfather in Utah.
The $124 Gillespie received for the haul was way under the urns' worth -- but cashing the check proved costly. Because he'd provided his driver's license to the Metal Movers staffer, tracking him down was a snap.
Earlier this week, Gillespie was advised in Mesa County Court of the charges against him -- not just misdemeanor theft and felony theft of between $5,000 and $2,000, but also desecration of venerated objects.
Sounds like those vets are going to get the last laugh, even though they've passed on to their final reward. Here's a larger look at Gillespie's mug shot.
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