‘Grave’ consequences

Published 7:52am Tuesday, December 3, 2013

AHOSKIE – Two Hertford County men stand charged with numerous counts of allegedly stealing brass ornamental vases from graves at Highland Memorial Gardens located near here.

Frank Albert Clow, 22, of Castelow Road, Cofield, and 32-year-old Derrick Dunlow of Ahoskie are under arrest in the case, one reported to the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office on Friday of last week.

Clow is charged with disturbing a grave marker and jailed under a $100,000 secured bond. Warrants were drawn for Dunlow and he was arrested Sunday night by Greenville Police after they received a tip he was at a restaurant in that town. No information was available regarding the charges or bond levied against Dunlow.

According to a report filed by Hertford County Sheriff’s Deputy Zachery Mize, he was summoned to Highland Memorial Gardens and met there with the manager, Jonoka Farmer.

“Mrs. Farmer advised me that were several vases missing from around the tower area in the center of the cemetery and to the left of the tower,” Mize said, adding that each vase is priced at $400.

As part of his investigation, Mize traveled a short distance north on US 13 to Milestone Metals, a recycling company. There he met with Milestone manager William Conner, asking him if anyone had brought in vases to sell.

“He stated that Frankie Clow had brought some vases in, showing me two sales receipts with Mr. Clow’s name on both – one for $31.50 for 18 pounds of brass and another for $122.50 for 70 pounds of brass,” Mize stated. “Those transactions took place on Nov. 27.”

Conner also showed Mize photographs of Clow beside the metal he brought in. Mize said a vase was visible in one of the photos.

“I also observed the bin where Mr. Conner advised me Mr. Clow dumped his metal in which I could identify one of the vases that came from Highland Memorial Gardens,” Mize noted in his report.

But there was another sale, this one taking place at Milestone Metals on Friday involving 430 pounds of brass vases that netted Clow a check for $769.70. However, the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office was tipped off concerning the sale and Clow was in the custody of Deputy Brian Pearce when Mize returned to the recycling business.

Clow consented to a search of his vehicle where Mize said a single vase was found hidden under a seat as well as a duffle bag on the back seat containing 14 vases. Also found in the vehicle were a reciprocating saw, a 12-gauge shotgun and a 22 caliber long rifle.

“I would like to commend Deputy Mize for a job well done with this investigation,” said Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan.

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