CATEGORY: Crime

AUTHOR: GIBSON

Tupelo police are investigating the theft of a Confederate grave marker from a city park.

Witnesses told Tupelo Parks and Recreation officials that two white men in their 20s carried the Confederate grave marker out of the park about 3 p.m. Friday, according to police reports. The men, wearing T-shirts and blue jeans, placed the grave marker in the back of a white pickup and drove off.

The case has been given more weight than typical vandalism cases, said Tupelo Police Chief Jerry Crocker. Tupelo police have assigned the cemetery desecration case to its detectives division, which normally investigates only felony crimes.

"It will definitely be actively investigated," Crocker said.

Park and Recreation officials said they are not sure what steps they are going to take, but they will likely try to replace the marker.

Cemetery desecrations of any kind are unusual in Tupelo, Crocker said.

- Michaela Gibson Morris

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