Police are continuing to investigate the theft of five military grave markers. People in Tulsa continue to speak out, expressing shock and disappointment for the crime.
"It's totally wrong," said American Legion worker and Air Force Veteran James Erb. Channel 8 broke this news to him Thursday afternoon and he immediately began making calls to others in the military community to organize cemetery walk-throughs.
The bronze markers belong to Private Fred Moore, Sergeant Larry White, Private Lueverdis Taylor, Technician Fourth Grade Leron Grant, and Private First Class Robert Hill. Two served in Korea and the rest served in World War II.
Police are searching for the cemetery where the markers belong.
"It's our investigators job to contact basically every cemetery around town to find out if they're missing from that location," said Officer Jillian Roberson. "And not knowing where these originated from, it could have actually been stolen from out of state maybe."
Police said people sometimes steal these markers for their metal. A recycling company told Channel 8, it requires a formal letter from the cemetery in question, plus identification proving your relation to negotiate a sale. A worker there estimated someone could have possibly made $300-400 off these plaques.
Police arrested Brandon Powell, 28, for the stolen vehicle. He reportedly had an existing warrant. Workers for Storey Wrecker, who happened to be veterans, recovered the markers. They told Channel 8, the idea of anyone stealing military grave markers is offensive to them. They brought back the markers to their shop downtown and plan to send the markers to Washington D.C. early next week to have them replaced.
Investigators are looking into how Powell came upon the markers. They encourage anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 918-596-COPS.
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