SOUTHINGTON – Police have recovered two statues, which were among the dozens stolen from a Southington cemetery over the past several months.
On Friday, only a couple of days after the Riccio family plot at the St. Thomas Cemetery was reported to have been vandalized, police had good news for the family.
Town Council Chairman Michael Riccio said police visited his home Friday evening to let him know they had recovered a marble Jesus statue, which has adorned the Riccio plot for decades. It was found at Jimmy D’s Antiques Plus, on Route 66 in Middlefield.
The owner of Jimmy D's says he runs ads on Craigslist seeking religious items, which is probably why the statues were brought there. “Occasionally, a statue may come in. I'm buying them with good intentions,” said Jimmy DiCaprio, who says he has been in the antiques business for 40 years.
DiCaprio says he has fully cooperated with cops, including providing them with a description of the individual who sold him the statues, and the vehicle the person delivered them in. DiCaprio claims he always asks where people attempting to sell him religious items obtained them from.
“Sometime they say maybe it's from a pet cemetery or they cleaned the house out,” he said.
Riccio says DiCaprio told him he paid roughly $50 for his Jesus statue and planned to sell it for about $250. The Riccio family paid $3,000 for the statue in the first place. Their statue of the Virgin Mary, worth approximately the same, is still missing.
Riccio says he is on a mission not just for his family, but also for all the other families with vandalized plots at St. Thomas Cemetery. Riccio is in the process of raising funds to offer a substantial reward, hoping it will entice someone to come forward with information that leads to an arrests.
Due to this incident, DiCaprio says he will no longer place ads on Craigslist seeking religious items to sell.