St. Clair Man Arrested In Graveyard Robbery

St. Clair, Mo. - Russell Funeral Home reported on Monday a large number of urns had been stolen from their cemetery.

This morning Sheriff Gary Toelke said deputies were contacted by the owners of Poor Boy’s Recycling in St. Clair saying, “Someone had just attempted to scrap cemetery urns”.

The owner was able to provide deputies with a description of the vehicle and one of the employees recognized the person attempting to scrap the urns.

Deputies were near the recycling center at the time of the call and were able to locate the vehicle at Main Street near Ridge Street St. Clair about 10 minutes after receiving the call. 

Deputies stopped the vehicle, however the suspect was not in the vehicle but the driver did inform officers he had dropped of the suspect at his mother’s home in St. Clair.

The driver, Timothy Shea, age 57, was taken into custody for active warrants out of Pulaski County.

Deputes were able to locate the suspect,  Thomas Sparks of St. Clair, age 31 who admitted to stealing urns Thursday morning.

Sparks also confessed to stealing urns a few days prior and scrapped them at a recycling company near the intersection of I-44 and Hwy 100.  Six urns were later recovered at that location.

Sparks has not been formally charged as of this morning but warrants have been issued for stealing.