Criminals Dig Deep in Cemetery Urn Thefts

By: AP
By: AP

HOUSTON (December 14, 2010)--Sheriff's deputies in Houston say they are looking for seven grave robbers accused of stealing about 400 brass urns from a Harris County cemetery and cashing them in as scrap metal.

Harris County officials said the urns were stolen over a weekend in early November.

A Houston ordinance requires scrap metal dealers to collect a name and address from each customer's government-issued ID, which gave detectives the information they needed to issue warrants for seven people who sold the urns.

Each of the seven faces a charge of second-degree felony theft, which can be punished by up to 20 years in prison.

Authorities say the urns are valued at a total of about $120,000, but that the thieves likely received less than $4,000 from the scrap dealers.

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