If you're looking for nominees for the Asshole of the Year award, a good place to start is the class of criminals who mess with graveyards. Remember those kids a couple years back who dug up a grave and smoked pot out of a human skull? Winner!
This year, just in time for the holidays, an enterprising group of lowlifes decided to head to Brookside Cemetery -- off the Eastex Freeway, a little south of the Beltway -- and rip off close to 400 brass vases and urns from gravesides.
"This is a group of individuals who have made it their business to steal from the dead," said Sheriff Adrian Garcia at a press conference. "I cannot think of a more perverse act."
The crime at Brookside happened one weekend in early November. According to Lieutenant Jeff Stauber, the thieves hopped a fence at the cemetery in the early morning hours and roamed the graves until they had all they could carry.
Someone from Brookside filed a complaint with the sheriff's office after the vases and urns were reported missing, and a worker at the scrap yard had already alerted Houston police about all the obviously-stolen goods it received. From there, it was pretty easy pickings for investigators.
Because the criminals, geniuses they were, used their driver's licenses when they were selling the stuff. Cops also had surveillance video from the scrap yard.
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The sheriff's department has identified seven suspects (pictured), and the names include some of the usual suspects.
Shanon Don Tucker (see update below), DOYLE Aaron Glove, Lloyd Darrell Petty, CRYSTAL Diane Nichols, Daniel Lee Stevens, Tawny Maryssa Watson, and Robert WAYNE Conley.
Trouble is, the sheriff's department can't find these creeps. Warrants have been issued but no arrests have been made. If you have any information about any of the suspects, call the sheriff's office at 713-221-6000.
The group stole about $12,000 worth of stuff from Brookside. At 2,200 pounds, the loot had a scrap value of about $4,000. Investigators recovered close to 300 of the vases from the scrap yard.
Update: The sheriff's office says that three of the suspects -- Glover, Stevens and Watson -- have been arrested, and Tucker "is no longer wanted as he is no longer a suspect in this case."