Cemetery caretaker: "Lowest of the low" stole grave markers in Tippah County

PEOPLES COMMUNITY – The concept of selling scrap metal to make a little money hit a new low with the recent theft of metal grave plot markers, a church cemetery caretaker said this week.

Nearly 100 markers were stolen from the Peoples Community Cemetery recently, according to cemetery caretaker Wayne Windham.

It’s the first time Windham can remember markers being stolen from the cemetery in the 20-plus years he’s been its caretaker, he said this week.

“Someone stole them to sell as scrap metal. I’ve called all the scrap iron places, but no one’s seen them,” Windham said last week.

The six-inch aluminum markers were bought last year. They were placed every 100 ft. to mark off the rows of plots.

Windham discovered the loss recently. He noticed a marker missing and thought it was just out of place. He soon discovered otherwise.

“You can’t just order them. They have to be special made. You can’t mark grave plots without them, and we’ve got a lot of grave plots. It may take several months to replace them. In the meanwhile, if somebody dies I don’t know what I’ll do.

“It’s the lowest of the low and the dirtiest of the dirty to take these things from a graveyard,” Windham said.

He asked those with information to contact the Tippah County Sheriff’s Department. Windham is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible. The identity of whoever provides the information will be withheld, Windham said.

Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel