By danny restivo
Township police have charged a second man in connection with the theft last month of a $36,000 brass statue and grave marker from the Mahoning Valley Memorial Park in Youngstown.
Michael A. Crytser, 27, of Masury, is facing charges of attempted theft, criminal trespass and burglary after an arraignment Friday in Girard Municipal Court.
According to court documents, Crytser was arrested on a charge of breaking and entering by Hubbard Township police in a separate incident the same day.
Police believe Crytser was involved with Richard R. Couturiaux, 30, of Hubbard, who is facing one felony count of receiving stolen property and one misdemeanor count of theft after police said he stole the 4-foot brass statue and grave marker.
According to police reports, Couturiaux scrapped portions of the statue for $25.50 at the Girard Recycling Center.
Brookfield Chief Dan Faustino said Couturiaux was arrested April 1 on a warrant while at Crytser’s residence. Faustino said Crytser cooperated with police during their investigation before they recovered the grave marker from a garage at his residence on the 8000 block of West Ohio Street. According to Faustino, Crytser said he had no knowledge of the stolen marker or where it came from.
Faustino said the grave marker was for a World War II veteran who died in 2010.
Faustino said township police spoke with Youngstown police, who initially reported the incident, and they could not corroborate Crytser’s story. A warrant was then issued for his arrest.
Crytser could face 18 months in jail and a $3,500 fine if convicted. The judge set his bail at $25,000 with a 10 percent cash surety. He is in the Trumbull County Jail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. today.
On April 3, Couturiaux waived his right to a preliminary hearing before he was bond over to a Trumbull County grand jury. The judge set Couturiaux’s bond at $82,500 for a felony charge of receiving stolen property and theft. He is in the county Jail. He did not enter a plea.