Authorities: Two charged after stealing antique poles surrounding 200-year-old Jefferson Co. cemetery

Authorities: Two charged after stealing antique poles surrounding 200-year-old Jefferson Co. cemetery
43-year-old Elijah Hoggart and 58-year-old Theodore Merrick, respectively. (Source: Jefferson Co. SO)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - Two men have been arrested and charged with multiple offenses for destroying and stealing the antique iron fencing from a 200-year-old cemetery near Natchez.

The men have been identified as 43-year-old Elijah Hoggart and 58-year-old Theodore Merrick, both from Natchez.

According to Jefferson County Sheriff James Bailey, authorities received information from the manager of Wood Cemetery in Churchill, saying the fencing had been destroyed and some of the poles were missing.

An investigation discovered the age old heavy duty antique fence poles were sold to a salvage business in Adams County.

The Jefferson County and Adams County sheriff’s offices worked together on tips received, which led to the arrests of Hoggart and Merrick. After their arrests, the fence poles and other items from the cemetery were found in the vehicle the pair was riding in.

Merrick and Hoggart will also be charged in Adams County for possession of stolen property.

The investigations are ongoing.

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