THROGS NECK — Cops nabbed a homeless man Tuesday who allegedly looted thousands of dollars worth of metal from mausoleums at historic St. Raymond’s Cemetery, police said.
News reports said Louis Peduto, 56, allegedly stole $189,000 worth of property from the cemetery, but police would not confirm that figure Wednesday.
A security guard spotted Peduto inside the 180-acre cemetery Monday morning carrying brass handles and air vents ripped out of a mausoleum, officials said.
The guard snapped a photo of Peduto as he dashed off, leaving behind his tools, which the guard collected and showed to police, according to a statement released by Matthew Horace, chief security officer of FJC Security Services, which guards the cemetery.
“FJC Security Services continues to work vigorously with the owners of St. Raymond's Cemetery, the Diocese and the NYPD to ensure this despicable crime does not happen again,” Horace said.
On Tuesday, officers patrolling a building just north of the cemetery recognized Peduto from the security guard’s photo and arrested him.
He was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, burglar tools and drugs, police said.
Situated just north of Ferry Point Park between two expressways, St. Raymond’s Cemetery is the borough’s only Catholic cemetery and one of the nation’s busiest, with nearly 4,000 annual burials, according to the cemetery’s website.
The legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday is buried there, as are many bishops, priests and nuns, the website said.