The incidents happened over five days at St. Raymond's Cemetery in the Throgs Neck section.
Authorities say the suspect, 56-year-old Louis Peduto, specifically targeted mausoleums, taking door handles, vents and name plates. He made off with as much as $180,000 worth of valuables.
"We identified a suspect this weekend," Chief Security Officer Matt Horace said. "The suspect actually ran from FJC security guards, which dropped a bag containing burglary tools in the bag. We took photos of the suspect, and the photos and the tools and any other evidence were relinquished to the NYPD."
Peduto was arrested on Tuesday evening. It's unclear if he was working alone or with others.
Police say there has been lax security at the cemetery, and the thefts weren't noticed until Monday.
Grieving visitors were visibly upset that anyone would steal from the dead, and there were also concerns about how to keep the 180-acre site secure.
More than 4,000 people are buried at St. Raymond's each year, most of the Catholic. There are some notable celebrities buried there, including singer Billie Holiday and former boxing champion Hector "Macho" Camacho.
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