Duncan residents speak out about grave site thieves - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Duncan residents speak out about grave site thieves

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - A Duncan couple is out on bond after being charged and arrested for stealing ornaments from a grave site at the Duncan cemetery.  Police say they used the stolen items to decorate their front yard.


James and Judith Owens posted a $1,500 dollar bond Friday.

Back in January several residents filed police reports against the couple accusing them of stealing items from their loved ones grave sites at the cemetery.

One of those residents is Gwen Evens who we interviewed back in December about a birdhouse, wreath, and decorations that disappeared from her son's grave site.

According to the police report, on January 11th,  Even's and her husband drove by suspects house and saw their son's items in plain view.

Very...very angry at this point, knowing they flat out didn't care," Even's said.

Gwen Even's said she is fed up and frustrated. Gwen is one of several other residents in Duncan who filed statements with the Duncan Police Department accusing James and Judith Owens of taking items from their loved ones grave site at the Duncan cemetery and using them to decorate their front yard.

"Anyone that goes to a cemetery and takes all the solar lights, the little trinkets, stones, wind chimes, no one has 10 to 15 wind chimes on their porch and nothing matches its artificial flowers, wreaths, they just go and pick and chose," Even's said.

After we interviewed Even's back in December she says she and others started investigating to see what they could find out.

"There were several people that had came up to me their plots and their families were right around my son and people were sitting out all day and watching. So we all were coming to the conclusion that they were coming in at lunch when there wasn't as many people in the cemetery and wouldn't be saw," Even's said.

And through their investigation Even said one man actually saw the Owens taking items from other gravesides.

"He actually tried to chase them down and they threw the items that they had taken off other graves out the window, so obviously it wasn't just being a thief they disrespected  this family they didn't even want this stuff. They threw it out. Money is just not even the question it's what these families have brought for their loved ones and they threw it out the window," Even's said.

So Even's gathered the information she had from others and filed a police report with Duncan Police on January 11. She even drove by The Owen's home and saw her son's birdhouse on their front porch.

"I wanted to get out and get our stuff, me and my husband both did, but the legal way, the right way in order to try and get charges pressed, things we happening we left it," said Even's.

Police attempted to make contact with the Owens on January 12, but no one was home. Five days later police returned to get their statement . According to the police report, the birdhouse was spotted in their front yard on January 17, but when officers returned to the house for a third time on the 24th James Owens told them the bird house was stolen.

Even's fears she will never see the items that were taken from her sons site again.

"I believe they threw it away, gave it away but that's something I think I wont see, but justice for my son and those others families definitely will mean the world to me," Even's said.

James and Judith Owens are facing 2 counts of "Removal of Gravestone Ornaments", which is considered a misdemeanor.
According to the Stephens County Court Clerk Office the couple will appear in  court June 6.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All Rights Reserved.

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