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Police Expecting to Make Another Arrest in Cemetery Thefts

With two arrests made in connection to the jewelry thefts at a cemetery in Berkeley County, state police say they're expecting to make a third arrest very soon.


MARTINSBURG, WV- With two arrests made in connection to the jewelry thefts at a cemetery in Berkeley County, state police say they are expecting to make a third arrest very soon.

When you go to the Rosedale Cemetery, the mausoleums look perfect and untouched. That was not the case a few months ago when police say they were broken into by David Bowers and Richard Ruffner, of Berkeley County, when they allegedly stole jewelry from bodies lying in the mausoleums.

"This kind of case does not come about.  This is first type of case I have knowledge of and I have dealt with in this area, so the hierarchy and state police are happy we able to find these two men," said Trooper Z.S. Conner of West Virginia State Police.

Police say back in May, both Bowers and Ruffner entered the cemetery and forcibly opened the caskets.  They took the jewelry and sold them for cash at two stores in the Martinsburg Mall including the Gold Buyers.  Trooper Conner says the motive was to use the money to purchase drugs. 

"It's kind of hard to imagine what they are thinking.  I mean in my mindset, I wear the badge, it's hard for me even imagine what length people go to get money," said Trooper Conner.

Both men have been charged with felony destruction of property and disinterment & displacement of a dead body.  The manager at the Gold Buyers said when we heard what the people supposedly did we were appalled and stunned.  Company officials say they are cooperating with authorities.

"When you are investigating, I mean local businesses sometimes, they don't like to cooperate do to civil rights, things like that peoples' rights, but i think just because of the case, what it is there, they are all about helping state police which helps a lot," says Trooper Z.S. Conner of West Virginia State Police.

Bowers and Ruffner are in Eastern Regional Jail.  Police say the preliminary hearings for both of them will be within the next couple of weeks. 

Police are hoping to make a third arrest later this week.  The case is in still under investigation.

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