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Queens man charged with vandalizing tombs

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A man charged with robbing a woman in St. Michael’s Cemetery was later arrested for allegedly vandalizing more than 50 tombstones, which were found overturned the morning of Memorial Day, police said.

Alexander Bedoya, 24, of 87-14 31st St. in Jackson Heights was charged with robbery in the third degree after allegedly stealing $5 from a 46-year-old woman who was visiting the grave of a friend, said Cadet Layoneya Burwell, a police spokeswoman.

After being questioned about the overturned tombstones discovered Monday morning, Bedoya was charged with 56 counts of criminal mischief and cemetery desecration, police spokesman Sgt. William Stiles said.

Dennis Werner, the cemetery’s director of operations, said he could not comment while the police were investigating the case.

Werner spent Tuesday morning with a crew returning the stones to upright positions. He said the markers did not sustain any permanent damage.

St. Michael’s Cemetery covers a large triangle of land in East Elmhurst, bounded by two legs of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway.

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