Sheriff’s Office and Gowanda Police Arrest Headstone Thief

Modified: April 6, 2016 9:50am


Buffalo, NY – Today, in a joint press release, the Gowanda Police Department and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Shawn Blanc, 21 of Gowanda, for the theft of several headstones from Gowanda and Springville cemeteries.

On February 2, officers from Gowanda Police Department contacted Sheriff’s Detectives after discovering several headstones during an unrelated investigation involving the defendant.  Their joint investigation revealed that seven headstones, some dating back to the 1800’s, were taken from grave sites in Cemetery Hill and Maplewood Cemetery.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office charged Blanc with a felony count of cemetery desecration and felony criminal mischief on February 9 and the Gowanda Police Department charged the defendant with two counts of felony cemetery desecration, one count of felony criminal mischief and petit larceny.  Both agencies are continuing their investigations and additional charges are pending.

Blanc was arraigned in Springville Village Court Monday for the Sheriff’s Office charges and was released on his own recognizance.