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Women accused of stealing flowers, decorations from cemetery

Two women were arrested near a Redlands cemetery after allegedly stealing flowers, wind chimes and other decorations from grave sites over a span of several months, police said Tuesday.

Esha Sumaya Khondoker, 26, of Redlands, and Kulreet Nakai, 22, of Rancho Cucamonga, were stopped Monday night in their vehicle in the 1200 block of Olive Avenue, several blocks from the Hillside Memorial Park cemetery, Redlands police said.

Lt. Travis Martinez declined to provide details about the arrest, saying only that officers had received information “minutes prior” that “some property had been stolen” from the cemetery.

Inside the vehicle, officers found a pink child’s purse, wind chimes and metal art, police said. Other allegedly stolen items were recovered after investigators searched homes in Redlands and Rancho Cucamonga.

In all, Martinez said, at least 10 items had been recovered.

The women have admitted to taking items from grave sites for the last several months, police said. Martinez said no other arrests were anticipated.

“The thefts may not seem like much in terms of dollar value,” he said in a statement. “But the losses were very personal for the victims.”

Police have asked anyone with information about the thefts, or who may have been a victim, to contact investigators at (909) 798-7681.

[For the Record, 5:50 p.m. PST, March 4: Redlands police initially identified Patricia Nava Meza, 43, of Rancho Cucamonga, as the second suspect in the case, but later said Meza was not connected to it. The second suspect has since been identified as Kulreet Nakai, 22, of Rancho Cucamonga.] 

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kate.mather@latimes.com

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