Teenage burglars think they stole cocaine from a house – turns out to be cremation ashes

They only realised their mistake when they tasted the powder

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The Independent US

Three boys thought they were stealing cocaine from a house but the powder turned out to be the cremated remains of the homeowner’s father.

The burglars realised their mistake after one of them tasted the ashes to double-check what it was. Then they threw it out of the car window, according to St Louis Post Dispatch.

Devin M. Gesell, 17, has been charged with burglary and two counts of theft. His younger accomplices, who are aged 15 and 16 so cannot be named for legal reasons, were referred to juvenile authorities for charges.


The break-in and theft happened in November last year at a home on Forrel Tree Court in St Peter’s, Missouri. Cash, jewellery and bottles of prescription drugs oxycodone and morphine.

The three were traced by police via an IP address used on an Xbox 360 that was also stolen from the house where a family known to the suspects lives. They planned the burglary after seeing a post on Facebook saying that the family were going to be away from home.

Gesell told police that one of the juveniles smashed the glass out of a door at the back of the house and unlocked it to enter the premises.

While being questioned by police on the whereabouts of the ashes, Gesell told them that he could not remember where they had been driving when the remains were thrown out.