2 accused of stealing brass vases from 102 graves

September 16, 2022 GMT

HAUGHTON, La. (AP) — A Louisiana couple desecrated 102 graves at a single cemetery by stealing brass vases and selling them for scrap, authorities said.

The 38-year-old man and 33-year-old woman were arrested Wednesday after a month-long investigation of thefts from Hill Crest Cemetery in Haughton, the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Haughton is just east of Bossier City, where the two suspects live together.

Hill Crest is the only cemetery that has reported such thefts so far, sheriff’s office spokesperson Sgt. Rod White said in an email Friday. Detectives are asking for reports of other cemetery vase thefts, and for reports from anyone who has seen a silver Ford Focus with Nevada license plates 702-R10 near any other cemetery.

Scrap metal records showed that the man sold a large amount of “solid red brass” to a recycling center in Shreveport, according to the news release. It said detectives identified four vase styles and cemetery officials said such vases had been stolen from 102 graves.

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In addition to grave desecration, the sheriff’s office said, warrants accused each suspect of seven counts of simple burglary. The man’s warrant also accused him on one count each of failing to appear in court and failing to notify authorities that he had moved since conviction as a sex offender.

His bond was set at $266,000 and the woman’s at $150,000, the news release said. It was unknown if either has an attorney who could speak for them.