Smith County authorities catch church copper thief

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 12:08pm

TYLER — A release by the Smith County sheriff's office states deputies caught Bryson Anthony when they were called to the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery on the 1300 block of WNW Loop 323 to check on a suspicious person.

When deputies arrived, they found signs of forced entry to a shed and evidence that Anthony was removing Bronze grave markers. They also found marijuana and Xanex near the suspect which he admitted was his.

Detectives on the scene found Anthony's car matched the description of a vehicles believed to be used in a recent thefts of Aluminum Coils and Copper component from A/C units at local churches.

A background check showed Anthony had recently sold large amounts of aluminum coils and copper materials. The suspected burglar admitted to stealing from 13 East Texas churches.


The burglar has been identified as Bryson Jamar Anthony, 25, of Kilgore.

Anthony has been charged with burglary of building, possession of controlled substance, possession of marijuana and 13 counts theft of material.

Anthony is being held in the Smith County Jail. His bonds total $393,500.


Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith says they have arrested the man stealing copper from churches in East Texas.

Details are limited at this time.

KETK has a crew en route to interview Sheriff Smith.

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