Crime & Courts

Lenoir woman charged with stealing at least $100,000 from city cemetery

Police arrested and charged a woman on Thursday with stealing at least $100,000 from the city of Lenoir-owned Blue Ridge Cemetery.

Sherry Lynn Phillips Nichols, 48, was jailed under a $50,000 secured bond on one count of felony larceny by employee in excess of $100,000. Her first court appearance is Monday.

Nichols was a customer service representative at Blue Ridge Cemetery on Wilkesboro Boulevard, police said.

Police said they received a report on March 28 that city money generated from sales made at the cemetery had been stolen.

All purchases of cemetery lots have been accounted for, and no cemetery customers have lost money paid to the cemetery, Police Chief R. Scott Brown said.

The case is unrelated to the theft of bronze vases from the cemetery. The thefts were reported on March 3, and police are asking for help finding who stole the vases.

Anyone with information about the theft of the vases is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 828-758-8300 or the Lenoir Police Department at 828-757-2100.