Suspect charged in Alice grave robbings

November 19, 2010 9:06:19 AM PST
An Alice man is accused of stealing from gravesites after more than 70 vases allegedly were sold for scrap metal. Jim Wells County sheriff's Lt. Odel Mendoza said Friday that some vases taken from Roselawn Cemetery in Alice have been recovered.

Mendoza says 23-year-old Anthony Ray Chapa was arrested Thursday on 12 counts of theft related to graves. Mendoza says a witness took down the license plate number of a car at the cemetery, leading to Chapa.

Chapa was freed after posting $40,000 bail. Mendoza told The Associated Press that he had no information on an attorney for Chapa.

The Alice Echo-News Journal reports investigators believe Chapa, since September, stole 72 brass and copper vases from 55 gravesites. Some vases sold for scrap metal for up to $200 apiece.