Deputies investigating grave stone theft from Ft. Meade cemetery

Polk County

Polk County deputies are trying to find out who stole a large marble grave stone belonging to the grave of a recently deceased woman in Ft. Meade.

“To me, this is just below the thought of humankind, going to the level of taking from the dead,” Hancock Funeral Homes Director Chuck Hancock said.

Deputies believe the theft occurred between Aug. 18, and Aug. 21, 2018 from the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church Cemetery at 6210 Mt. Pisgah Road in Ft. Meade. 

The large slab was placed on the burial plot about 20 years ago when the woman purchased it for herself and her husband. The slab had remained there, undisturbed until recently.

When the woman passed away earlier on Aug. 16, the stone slab was moved to another area of the cemetery, and was to be put back in place once the ground settled. 

The cemetery maintenance crew discovered that the slab was missing three days after they last saw it. 

“It’s unbelievable that somebody would take like this and think it could be used for something else, unless they had the right equipment to cut it. There’s no answer to why it would be done,” Hancock said.

The marble slab measures 7′ x 3′, is four inches thick and weighs about 1,500 pounds. 

“Someone would have to have the right equipment. A front end loader or a wench type vehicle or something of that nature to be able to move it,” Hancock said.

The cemetery estimates the value of the gray marble stone slab to be about $1,000.

If anyone has any information about the whereabouts of the slab or anyone responsible for the theft, they are asked to contact Detective Wright at 863-499-2400 or Heartland CrimeStoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477)

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