NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – A Willimantic man has been sentenced to two years prison for stealing a 120-year-old bronze statue worth an estimated $35,000 from a Norwich cemetery and cutting it into pieces to sell to a scrap yard.

The Norwich Bulletin reports that Sean McNee was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to first-degree larceny.

Prosecutors say the 44-year-old McNee stole the 450-pound statue from the gravesite of the wife of a former Norwich mayor in February 2010, sliced it up with the help of another man, and sold the pieces for $200.

A suspicious scrap yard employee called police.

McNee said he found the statue already cut up. But police say he once worked for a headstone company and had the expertise to remove the statue.

The other man is serving a 6-month sentence.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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