Husband Wants Tougher Penalties for Grave Theft

PLUMERVILLE, Ark. -- A Conway County, Arkansas man is devastated after items from his late wifes gravestone were stolen. 

It happened at the Wilder Cemetery off of Highway 92 just north of Plumerville. 

The husband says he wants more penalties for people caught stealing from graves. 

Wade Ledbetter stops at this graveyard  in Conway County.  "I pass that cemetery everyday." along his route to work in Little Rock. "I always look over give it a wink and a smile and a wave." 

It's where his wife, Ruth, is buried.

After her tragic death in 2017, he decided to honor her by decorating her gravesite every holiday.

 But he slowly started to notice something different each time. 

He says evertime he's come to this grave to visit his wife, something on her gravestone has gone missing. 

"They stole the little statue. And I had an angel sitting on a stone - and they stole that first." 

Wade says many of the items stolen aren't costly, but hold a deep place within his heart. 

"It's the principal of going out to someone's final resting place and it's so solemn to me." 

Now he wants stiffer penalties for people caught stealing from gravesites. "Be respectful of other peoples loved ones and put yourself in their shoes." 

In hopes the next time he comes to visit his late wife, those sentimental, irreplaceable items will still be there. 

"I had to defend her, I couldn't take action in this life to keep her alive, but I'm going to make sure that no one does this to her solemn resting place." 

Wade says he did notify the Conway County Sheriffs Office about the thefts - and is hoping the people responsible for stealing those items are caught.


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