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Robertsville man sentenced for theft of grave markers

FPS staff report

A Robertsville man has been sentenced to prison for the theft of veterans’ grave markers at cemeteries in four counties, including one at Malvern.

George H. Swogger, 43, of 11265 Peachline St., Robertsville, was sentenced Monday by Stark County Common Pleas Court Judge Frank Forchione to 10 months in prison after changing his plea to guilty of receiving stolen property in connection of the theft of some 100 gravestone markers at Bethlehem Cemetery at Malvern and graves of veterans at cemeteries in Stark, Tuscarawas and Columbia counties.

According to Stark County Prosecutor John D. Ferrero, Swogger sold pieces of brass markers and rods to PSC Metals in Canton last May. Company officials contacted the Carroll County Sheriff’s office who had been investigating the theft of over 100 markers from Bethlehem Cemetery along SR 183 on the east side of Malvern.

Swogger was arrested during a traffic stop in Canton last June by Stark County sheriff’s deputies who seized pieces of grave markers from Tuscarawas and Columbiana counties. He was later charged with receiving stolen property in connection with the theft of the brass grave markers of US veterans stolen from the four cemeteries.

According to Ferrero, Swogger is to be transferred to prison Oct. 20 to begin serving his 10-month sentence. He also was ordered to make restitution to the Veterans Commission in an amount to be determined following his conviction, Judge Forchione ordered.

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