Man charged with stealing bronze plates from headstones at Missouri cemetery

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PATTONSBURG, Mo. -- A 45-year-old man is charged with theft and property damage in Daviess County after authorities say they arrested him with stolen bronze headstone plates in his truck.

Altogether Leslie Harrison faces 35 different charges for drug possession and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia, theft, and property damage.

According to the Daviess County Sheriff's Office, they received information that a man was attempting to sell bronze headstone plates for scrap metal. They stopped Harrison because his description matched that of the tip.

At the traffic stop, the deputy saw multiple bronze plates in the bed of the truck, amounting to an approximate value of $16,000. The deputy says Harrison was also in possession of methamphetamine and marijuana.

Authorities say that 16 bronze headstone plates in his possession were removed from Bethel Cemetery and were once attached to headstones, vaults and monuments. The cost to re-attach them is expected to be about $4,000.

The cemetery says every effort will be made to return the bronze plates as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Harrison remained in custody in the Daviess/DeKalb County Jail. Pattonsburg is about 75 miles northeast of Kansas City.