Amherst police arrest two brothers in connection to stolen veterans’ plaques

By Nick Bush

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(Courtesy Amherst Police Department)

On the night of Feb. 8, 2010, the caretakers of North Amherst Cemetery on East Pleasant St. found dozens of brass veterans’ plaques stolen from burial sites at the cemetery site, which lies less than a mile from the University of Massachusetts campus.

Investigators from the Amherst Police Department soon determined that a number of area community police departments had received similar reports from veterans’ affairs officers, according to a press release from the Amherst Police Tuesday.

Amherst Police investigators determined that two suspects were involved, and arrested brothers Mark E. Kuklewicz of Lake Pleasant, Mass. and Stanley P. Kuklewicz of Millers Falls, Mass. Both brothers were charged with two counts, Larceny from a Grave and Larceny over $250.

The Kuklewicz brothers were arrested on the morning of March 2 in the town of Montague, Mass., with the help of the Massachusetts State Police, Greenfield Police and the Montague Police. Both men were arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court on Tuesday afternoon.

During the investigation, police recovered 74 of the veterans’ plaques. According to the Amherst Police Department, the investigation continues, with the APD coordinating with various surrounding law enforcement agencies in an effort to locate additional veterans’ plaques, and identify the rightful place for the recovered stolen property.

Nick Bush can be reached at [email protected]