Authorities searching for E. Texas grave robbers who fled town
Jacky Brown (Source: Van Zandt County Jail)
Ruby Brown (Source: Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office)
Rickey White had three brass vases stolen (Source: KLTV Staff)
VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -
Van Zandt County authorities are looking for two suspects in connection to hundreds of pounds of brass stolen from cemeteries across East Texas.
Authorities say when they went to serve warrants for theft of property from a grave for the two suspects, they had already left town. Chief Deputy Bob Keltner says Ruby Brown, 28, and Jacky Brown, Jr. 34, of Murchison were scared they may be arrested for theft and left town on Thursday.
On Tuesday, authorities say a suspect confessed to taking brass markers and selling them for scrap. They say the suspect went on to confess to also taking brass vases from cemeteries from Wills Point to Tyler. So, far authorities know of six cemeteries that the suspects stole from and dozens of families that say brass is missing from their family member's grave sites.
One of those victims spoke with us on Friday in hopes that the suspects would turn themselves in.
Rickey White hasn't been to the Myrtle Springs Cemetery in about six months, but last weekend on mother's day he noticed there was no vase to place his mother's flowers in. He also noticed more vases missing.
"My brother's was gone. My other brother's is marble so they didn't mess with it," White said. "They just wanted the metal ones. They also stole my aunt's vase."
Authorities say these thieves are stealing brass stones and vases at cemeteries across east texas.
"Who could stoop that low to steal vases off of a cemetery?" White said.
White says he paid around $250 for each of the vases.
"How could you stoop so low? I know he probably has loved one's, too," White said. "To steal from somebody like this makes me mad. It's a lot of money to actually bury people."
Friday, White realized he wasn't the only victim.
"I was walking around and started to notice a bunch of vases missing," White said. "There's like 10 of them in this little area right here."
Each vase is chained down but White says he knows how and why this is happening.
"They twist in and out of the vase holder, and I guess he couldn't get that one to twist out so he just broke it off at the stem," White said. "He's crushing them up and just selling them for the brass. I heard the price of brass is up."
Now that there's a warrant out for Ruby and Jacky's arrest White is hoping for some restitution.
"I hope they get him and send him to prison for a while for it, and hopefully it deters other people from stealing stuff from a cemetery," White said.
Authorities say they are concerned about the four minor children the Browns left town with. The youngest is under the age of two. Keltner says the children haven't been to school in three days.
Authorities say the suspects may be in Oklahoma or North Texas and they are suspects in other burglaries and thefts in Van Zandt County.
If you have information on where Ruby and Jacky Brown, Jr. may be, you are asked to called the Van Zandt County Constable's office at (903)-833-5705 or the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office at (903)-567-4133.