MALDEN (CBS) – A man was arrested Friday after police say he stole a hockey stick that was placed outside the Malden Police Department in tribute to victims of a bus crash in Canada that killed 16 members of a junior hockey team and badly injured 13 others.

Police put the stick outside the station’s front door on April 11 as part of the #PutYourSticksOut social media tribute. The gesture was to honor members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team after a tragic bus crash a week earlier.

sticksout Man Allegedly Stole Humboldt Tribute Hockey Stick From Malden Police

The tribute to Humboldt Broncos players and coaches outside the Malden Police station. (Image Credit: Malden Police)

On Friday, officers were monitoring cameras outside the station from just a few feet away when they saw a man walk up to the stick. He “tried out” the stick and put it back before leaving.

But Malden Police say the suspect, later identified as 53-year-old Hingham resident William Iaconelli, returned, grabbed the stick and walked away.

williamiaconelli Man Allegedly Stole Humboldt Tribute Hockey Stick From Malden Police

William Iaconelli. (Image Credit: Malden Police)

An officer left the station and caught up with Iaconelli. When the officer asked him about the stick, which had a Humboldt decal, he “gave conflicting stories as to his reasoning for taking the stick, none which made any sense.”

“Iaconelli told officers, when asked if he heard of the Humbolt tragedy, that he did know about it but didn’t follow the coverage because it was ‘too depressing,’” Malden Police said.

Police arrested Iaconelli and charged him with larceny. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

The hockey stick will be saved as evidence.


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