Cemetery caretaker arrested for selling plots and keeping money

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Police say he also pawned cemetery’s riding mower

By Lisa King

A caretaker at Bagdad Cemetery has been arrested for theft of cemetery property, as well as from individuals, police say.

Gerald Kincaid Jr., 30, of 5177 Elmburg Road, was arrested Feb. 11 and charged with theft by unlawful taking under $10,000.

Shelby County Sheriff’s detective Jason Rice said that Kincaid took $1,350 from a man, on the pretense of selling him three grave lots for himself, his son, and his wife, who was ill.

Rice said Kincaid told the man, “To pay him directly and no one else,” adding that Kincaid did not give the man a title for the plots.

“Mr. Kincaid stated in a recorded statement that he never had the money to pay the cemetery and kept [the victim’s] money for his own personal benefit,” Rice said.

He added that Kincaid is also charged with taking a $7,000 riding mower belonging to the cemetery and pawning it.

Rice would not comment on why Kincaid took the money.

Rice said that so far, Kincaid is only being charged in one incident of selling bogus grave plots, but that more victims could come forward, as there are several more people who have had a similar interaction with Kincaid.

“It’s hard to say how many there are, some of them many not come forward,” he said.

Plots at the cemetery average about $400 to $500 each, Rice said.

Rice said he plans to present the matter to the Shelby County Grand Jury for indictment.

He added that the cemetery, located on Cedarmore Road, “does not want any publicity.”

John Lewis, chairman of the Bagdad Cemetery Board, echoed that opinion in a statement to The Sentinel-News.

“This involves a pending legal matter; the Bagdad Cemetery will have no comment,” he said.

Kincaid, who is no longer employed at the cemetery, bonded out of the Shelby County Detention Center the day after he was arrested.

He has a previous criminal record in Shelby and Anderson counties with on several misdemeanor theft charges.