Groundskeeper Catches Bald Knob Cross Thieves

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By Matthew Searcy

UNION COUNTY -- Thieves in Union County  were tracked down earlier this week after trying to steal property from Bald Knob Cross.  

The groundskeeper caught the criminals in the act, and then took matters into his own hands.  
 
"As soon as I noticed it was gone I said, 'Oh crap'," said Bald Knob groundskeeper Roger Gibson.  
 
The theft happened early Sunday morning. Three young adults were seen hovering around the base of the cross, where the memorial bricks are placed. By the time Gibson noticed one of the bricks was missing, the thieves had disappeared  
 
"I looked down here and they were gone," explained Gibson, "So I got in my pickup truck and went chasing after them."
 
He called police and then chased the thieves for 20 miles, until the trio ran out of gas. That's when Gibson confronted them.  
 
"I told him it wasn't just a brick. This brick cost a lady $250. It's a memorial brick that we lay underneath the cross," explained Gibson.  
 
Law enforcement arrested the thieves moments later.  
 
There are about 300 memorial bricks at the foot of the Bald Knob Cross. It's a place where people can dedicate a spot for loved ones and family members, many of whom have passed away. 
 
Gibson believes the thieves targeted the brick because it contains the same name as a popular singer. The name on the brick reads, "Chris Brown." Unfortunately, this isn't the first time robbers have taken property from the area.  
 
"If it's not tied down, people walk off with it," said Gibson, "There are two tables missing since I have been here." 
 
Several security cameras are installed on the grounds, but the landmark's board members are looking to upgrade their security to deter future thefts.  
 
"We are in the process now of getting a new security system out here to watch the whole mountain," said Gibson.  
 
The Union County Sheriff's Office says the thieves were charged with misdemeanor theft. All three bonded out earlier this week. 
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