Two Southeast Arkansas women have been arrested for a crime that apparently is becoming more common. Angela Cessor, of Dermott, and Komah Milholland, of Monticello, allegedly stole decorative urns from grave markers at the Union Ridge Cemetary in Drew County.
Cessor and Milholland are also alleged to have stolen a large metal garbage receptacle from the Lone Sassafrass Cemetary and scrap metal from an area on Midway Route where three grain silos are located, according to Drew County Sheriff Mark Gober.
After receiving a call from an area resident who suspected the women may be stealing scrap metal, Gober said he drove to Midway Route, about 10 miles south of Monticello, where he saw Milholland’s truck parked on the side of the road.
Upon seeing scrap metal, a large metal garbage receptacle, and a plastic bag containing two urns in the truck, Gober arrested the women. He said Milholland admitted, during an interview at the Drew County Detention Center, that they had taken the items.
“It never ceases to amaze me the extent some criminals will go to, to make a dollar,” Gober said. “I hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Drew County arrests come on the heels of two arrests in Ashley County for the same crime.
In late November through early December, Mark Allen Tyson, 27, of Crossett, allegedly stole about 30 decorative urns, valued at nearly $8,500, from grave markers at the Pinewood Memorial Park in Crossett. His alleged accomplice, Hanna Jo Perritt, 21, is suspected of selling the urns for Tyson at a scrap metal shop in Ashley County and another in Louisiana.
Tenth Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen charged Tyson with theft and defacing an object of public respect. He charged Perritt with aiding consummation of offense.
If convicted, Tyson faces 5 to 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine for defacing an object of public respect and 3 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for theft.
Perritt, if convicted, faces up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine for aiding Tyson by converting the theft proceeds into negotiable funds.
“Desecration of a graveyard will be dealt with severely,” Deen said following the Ashley County arrests.
Noticing Cessor’s badly bruised face, Gober said he asked her what happened. He said she told him her boyfriend beat her. The alleged battery occurred in Dermott.