Cowley County authorities are asking anyone who had items stolen from a loved one’s gravesite at Arkansas City’s Parker Cemetery to call to claim them.
A search warrant recently executed at a home in Arkansas City turned up several flower pots, decorative lights and other items, according to a news release from the Cowley County Sheriff’s Office. One person was seen removing decorations from cemetery plots last week, the release said.
“I have probably 50 to 55 different decorative solar lights. Maybe 15 to 20 statues, figurines and personally handmade items. And I still have some flower baskets” that haven’t been returned to their owners yet, Lt. Christina McDonald said Tuesday.
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McDonald called such a large-scale theft of gravesite decorations “kind of an unusual thing” in Cowley County. Some of the victims thought the cemetery had removed the items as part of its grounds keeping, she said.
At least one person who already claimed an item said it went missing a year ago, McDonald said.
When deputies tracked down the person suspected of the thefts, the person “immediately went on the defense and refused to talk to officers,” McDonald said. As of Tuesday, no one had been arrested or charged in connection with the case.