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Man Steals 454 Veterans' Grave Markers and Flag-Holders, Sells Them as Scrap Metal

Joseph Kuzma (Image source: Facebook/Batavia Daily News)

BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) -- A 35-year-old man has been sentenced to weekends in jail and must pay restitution to cover the cost of 454 bronze markers and flag-holders he stole from the graves of veterans in western New York.

Joseph Kuzma, of Byron, pleaded guilty in March to attempted grand larceny. The Daily News of Batavia reports members of veterans' groups turned out for his sentencing Thursday in Genesee County Court.

Latest: Joseph Kuzma of #Byron ran into a buzz saw of criticism Thursday from veterans as he was sentenced for stealing...

Posted by Batavia Daily News on Thursday, May 14, 2015

Prosecutors say Kuzma stole 192 markers and 262 flag-holders from eight cemeteries in the neighboring towns of Bergen and Byron during nighttime thefts last year. He sold the items at a Rochester scrap yard to pay for his drug habit.

Kuzma was sentenced to spend weekends in jail for four months and to pay more than $17,000 to replace the stolen items.

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