ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Investigators with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office have arrested a Lufkin man who they say pried military markers off of gravestones and tried to sell them for scrap metal.
According to Inv. Mark McLin, Jeffery Tyrone Shaw, 49, had used a crowbar to pry off the markers.
McLin said they began the investigation on Monday after one of the scrap yards reported he had tried to sell them there. They refused to let him and got pictures of him while he was at the business.
McLin said they began investigating and one of the other scrap yards managed to find one of the markers.
"It's terrible we have these guys that are serving in foreign wars risking their lives over there to keep us safe," said McLin.
Deputies arrested Shaw on Thursday morning, and he is charged with nine counts of theft of grave property.
"They're made of bronze but the markers themselves are being sold or their trying to sell them at the salvage yards," said McLin.
It doesn't sit well with VFW members like Jack Green, who work to create opportunities for veterans.
"We haven't got any room in our society for people of this nature," said Green.
Authorities believe all the markers were taken from Davis Memorial Gardens in Lufkin. They're now working to get them back where they belong.
"We've tracked down a couple of family members and we're going to continue to track down family members," said McLin.
Each plaque is worth about two hundred dollars but the value of sacrifices through service, is so much more.
"Shows they are proud of the service they've given their country shows their family is also proud of it," said Green.
Shaw is being held in the jail on a collective bond of $31,500.