Ft. Gibson Police Arrest 5 For Breaking Into National Cemetery - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Ft. Gibson Police Arrest 5 For Breaking Into National Cemetery

Posted: Updated:
Jackie Pippen, Russell Cook, James Cook, Alydia Shepherd and Shelby Gatwood. [Muskogee County Jail] Jackie Pippen, Russell Cook, James Cook, Alydia Shepherd and Shelby Gatwood. [Muskogee County Jail]
Police said they were trying to steal equipment from the grounds. Police said they were trying to steal equipment from the grounds.
It's a crime Police Chief Clint Vernon said he and his officers take offense to. It's a crime Police Chief Clint Vernon said he and his officers take offense to.
FORT GIBSON, Oklahoma -

Police arrested five people they say broke into the National Cemetery in Fort Gibson. Police said they were trying to steal equipment from the grounds.

Several residents were upset, not necessarily about the crime itself, but about the disrespect to our nation's veterans.

"I'm very surprised and very shocked to know that someone would come into a national cemetery and do something like that," community member Robert Dye said.

The national cemetery is where rows upon rows of American soldiers are buried in their final resting place.

That's where Fort Gibson police said Jackie Pippen, James Cook, Alydia Shepherd, Shelby Gatwood and Russell Cook tried to steal equipment used for upkeep and burial on the grounds.

It's a crime Police Chief Clint Vernon said he and his officers take offense to.

“You know being the veterans the National Cemetery, that is a soft place in our hearts and we just take it very personal," he said.

So does the director of the cemetery, Bill Rhoades.

"Well this is the most expensive burial in the world, and all of our veterans have earned this burial, and to steal from the National Cemetery degrades the remembrance of the sacrifices that our veterans made for this great nation,” said Rhoades.

Police said the thieves cut an area of the fence to get into the cemetery; their target was a container full of supplies and equipment.

“They were stashing a lot of the tools and then planned to come back with the truck to get it," Vernon said.

He said they tried to stash the items underneath trees right next door to the grounds until someone driving by saw what was going on and made a call to police, something Rhoades appreciated.

“This isn't my cemetery, this is our cemetery, and thanks to a vigilant community that kept their eyes open and reported something that looked suspicious to them," he said.

Dye and many other said they were upset over the situation.

"You never know what's going to happen anymore. Times changing," Dye said.

Police said the five could face federal charges.

As for the cemetery, the director said they'll take more security precautions in the future.

Special Features

Bridge Tracker

How safe are Oklahoma?s bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

Fallen Heroes

The News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

Links

Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on The News On 6? Find it here!

Murrah Bombing Timeline

Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Featured on NewsOn6.com

  • Cold Cases

    Join Lori and local homicide detectives as they search for Cold Case clues.

  • Crime Survival Guide

    What can you do to survive a crime? Find advice for personal safety here.

  • Links

    Looking for a website you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.