HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are looking to protect families mourning the loss of a loved one by cracking down on urn thefts.
A bill being introduced in the state Legislature would make stealing an urn a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, KHON-TV reported (https://bit.ly/1Kn9uzB).
There is currently no statute that applies specifically to the theft of an urn. The degree of theft is instead determined by value, with first-degree theft exceeding $20,000 and fourth-degree theft less than $100.
Democratic Rep. Ryan Yamane of Waikele and Mililani said the bill will help ensure a person’s remains are safely kept.
“I think this has been an ongoing problem, but now the public is demanding a solution,” said Yamane. “So we’re trying to work with them, work with the department to provide options that balances the families’ needs regarding the protection of the remains, but also to make sure that these cemeteries and the remains are properly kept.”
In June, four urns went missing from the Nagamine family’s gravesite plot in Pearl City. Three of them were later discovered at a recycling center without the ashes.
Two people have been arrested and charged with stealing the urns.
Information from: KHON-TV, https://khon.com
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