On 3/25/10 around 10:50 a.m., a detail officer was informed by a resident in the 100 block of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall that quite a few bronze plaques were missing from some of the benches in the area. The Parks and Recreation Department were notified and upon further inquiry of their maintenance division, it was confirmed that these plaques were not removed by them for cleaning or for any other reason. The missing plaques amounted to 15 donated “Memorial” plaques varying in dimensions, as well as the “Domingo Sarmiento” dedication plaque.
As a result of a joint investigation between the Boston Police D-4 detectives and the Newton Police Department, it was learned that a suspect by the name of Vincent Cedrone, 52, of Newtonville, was involved in an incident in the City of Newton where he was observed transporting a large metal sign that was sticking out of the trunk of his motor vehicle. The suspect also appeared on video surveillance cameras in Belmont, stealing a plaque from their town hall office building. These items when stolen are broken up into smaller pieces and then sold for scrap at various local scrap dealers. There have been a number of thefts that have involved memorial and commememorative plaques that are all made of some type of metal (bronze, brass) in Boston,Newton,Belmont,Lexington, and Watertown.
Six of the Boston plaques were recovered from Cedrone’s residence in Newtonville after the execution of an arrest warrant when they were observed in plain view. Vincent Cedrone was placed under arrest by Newton Police for receiving stolen property. As a result of this arrest, Newton Police recovered six of the fifteen reported stolen memorial plaques from the Commonwealth Avenue Mall area from Hereford St. to Arlington St. in the back bay area of Boston.