Couple accused of stealing flowers from gravesites in Ballston Spa

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
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— Flowers a man left at his wife’s grave in the Village Cemetery on Mother’s Day were pilfered by a Ballston Spa couple looking to spruce up their home, according to police.

Ballston Spa Police Officer Anthony Pirrone said the man was visiting several other gravesites when he noticed a pair of suspicious-looking people skulking through the cemetery. He then returned to his wife’s plot and observed the individuals had grabbed his bouquet and placed it in the back of a black pickup truck.

Instead of confronting the pair, the man took down the truck’s license plate number and followed it out of the cemetery to their home on Ballston Avenue, where he alerted police to what he had witnessed. Pirrone said investigators arrived to find the flowers and other items in the bed of the truck that appeared to be taken from gravesites.

“It’s not just flowers,” Pirrone said. “There are other items that are alleged to have been taken too.”

Travis M. Lapell, 34, and Taiya L. Armer, 41, were both subsequently arrested on the charge of petty larceny. Pirrone said Armer cooperated with police, but not Lapell.

Both suspects were released on citations after their arrest Sunday. Pirrone said the details of the crime are more shocking than the severity of the charge, since the couple didn’t seem to mind grabbing items from the cemetery, much less ones left in honor of Mother’s Day.

“That’s honestly what’s most troubling,” he said.

Pirrone said the pair appeared to be decorating their residence with items they had taken from the cemetery. He declined to identify the other items believed to be taken from the cemetery, but is asking anyone who suspects they had something stolen from a gravesite at the Village Cemetery to contact police at 885-5033.

“We might have additional charges pending,” he said.

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