POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - A Fort Meade man is accused of removing a monument and petit theft after authorities say he stole from the grave of a murder victim.
Deputies arrested Kevin John Wheeler,45, of Fort Meade. On Jan. 13, Roy and Elizabeth Tillman reported a theft of solar lights at their son, Damion’s gravesite at the Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Meade.
Damion Tillman and two others were murdered last July in Frostproof while on a fishing trip.
Following the initial theft, the Tillmans placed a surveillance camera at the site.
Then on January 25th, around 11:15 p.m., the Tillmans observed someone, via the camera at their son’s gravesite, removing the lights. They called the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and gave a detailed description of the suspect and his red pick-up truck.
While responding to the cemetery, deputies located the suspect and conducted a traffic stop. According to the affidavit, Wheeler “spontaneously stated he was getting lights” and that “he had an interest with gravesite lights and was removing them because he thought they were pretty.”
The stolen lights from Damion’s gravesite, along with 5 additional solar lights, were found in the bed of Wheeler’s pick-up truck.