Nabbed tomb robber used stolen gravestones as table, police said

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/10 17:53:39

A photo taken at Cai's home shows two of the gravestones used to make a "tea table," reported. Photo: Hangzhou police

A total of 13 people were taken into custody for stealing Buddhist gravestones dating back hundreds of years and using some of them to make a table, media reported Tuesday.

Hangzhou police were led to one of the suspects, surnamed Cai, on December 8 after he was caught on surveillance cameras looting the large pagoda stones that once marked the graves of Buddhist monks in northern Zhejiang Province.

Cai, an antiques dealer with a prior conviction for grave looting, had hired a team of 12 people to steal pagodas in the province, police said.

A photo from Cai's home shows two of the stones made into a "tea table," media reported.

Locals first reported the tombstones missing in November, said Chen Xingliang, head of Wushan village in Zhejiang.

The stone pagoda grave markers were registered as historic sites, some of which belonged to Buddhist monks from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, local authorities said.

Witnesses later told police that three men were spotted loading stones into a small truck on November 13.

Surveillance footage helped police identify one of the men as Cai, who admitted to taking two of the pagodas in 12 parts, Hangzhou police said.

Two of the pieces were found at his home, where he had used to make a table.

All 13 suspects were detained on January 3, Hangzhou Police said.

Posted in: ODD NEWS

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