Deputies have issued additional arrest warrants for two people they believe stole more than $15,000 worth of bronze and copper vases from two area cemeteries last week.
Paul Douglas Hargrove, 48, and Ella Clontz Clark, 39, both of Rock Hill, face grand larceny charges in connection with the theft of 42 vases from grave sites at Bass-Cauthen Funeral Home's cemetery on Heckle Boulevard.
After an investigation, additional warrants for Clark and Hargrove were issued by York County Sheriff's Office deputies on a charge related to theft from a grave, said Lt. Mike Baker. This charge is in connection with the theft of 14 vases from grave sites at Lakeview Memory Gardens near York last week.
Both face one count, Baker said, but additional charges could follow after further investigation.
The charge of graves/theft or injury of grave property worth $400 or more is a felony, Baker said. The charge carries up to five years in prison.
Rock Hill police issued warrants Tuesday for Hargrove and Clark, who reside at 348 Brownstone Drive. Both are also accused of selling the stolen vases at an area salvage yard, according to the arrest warrants.
Clark turned herself in Tuesday, but Hargrove was still at large Wednesday afternoon, said Rock Hill Police Lt. Brad Redfearn.
Clark was issued a $10,500 bond in court this afternoon. That's the same value as the 42 vases she's accused of stealing.
Clark was charged with petty larceny and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with an incident last spring in Clover, according to a State Law Enforcement Background Check.
Hargrove's only criminal history in the state is a misdemeanor charge for domestic violence in March, a SLED background check shows.
Most of the vases, worth about $250 each, were taken from graves of veterans. Flowers and flags left by loved ones in those vases were scattered across the cemetery lawn.
Police are investigating whether Clark and Hargrove were involved in similar incidents in other jurisdictions, Redfearn said.
Lakeview Memory Gardens on Filbert Highway near York reported to the York County Sheriff's Office 15 brass vases were missing from graves late last week, said manager Donna Furr.
Larry Childers, the cemetery's superintendent, told deputies he noticed the vases were gone after seeing a man and woman in that area. He did not witness the thefts.
The vases are valued at $350 each, authorities say.
The nearly 30 vases believed to be stolen from Bass-Cauthen were recovered at a scrap yard on S.C. 161. The manager there said he bought them from a woman for nearly $210.
Furr said she remains hopeful some of the vases will turn up. She said scrap yards shouldn't buy items that clearly came off grave sites without a letter from the cemetery or something verifying why they aren't being used.
"These people that accept these vases at these scrap yards are as guilty as the people they're giving the money to," Furr said. "These vases are not something you can walk into a store and buy. Anyone would know these vases came off a grave. Period."
If you have information about Hargrove's whereabouts, call police at 803-329-7230 or Crime Stoppers of York County at 877-409-4321.