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Police Charge Man with Cemetery Vandalism, Burning American Flag

by on May 30, 2014 3:52 PM

Authorities arrested a State College man for his alleged role in cemetery vandalism and American flag burning.

Ferguson Township police filed charges Friday against Timothy L. Penrod, 24, of State College, for allegedly toppling 15 headstones at Pine Hall Cemetery earlier this week.

Police also allege Penrod burned at least one American flag posted at a grave and attempted to enter the secured maintenance shed through a window.

Police charged Penrod with institutional vandalism, desecration of venerated objects, criminal mischief, criminal attempt burglary, criminal attempt criminal trespass, and insults to the national flag.

Police collected several pieces of evidence at the scene, which led to Penrod's arrest, including a baseball hat, cell phone, beer can, beer and food receipts, footprint and other forensic evidence.

Police say the investigation shows Penrod bought food and beer in State College between 11 and 11:30 p.m. Monday while wearing a hat matching the description of a hat police located in the cemetery. Additionally, police say sneakers later recovered at his home match the footprint found at the scene.

Authorities also say Penrod's credit card, which matched the receipts left at the cemetery, is the same card used to purchase the items found at the cemetery. The cell phone recovered at the scene police say also belonged to Penrond.

Authorities say the cost of repairs is roughly $2,405.

District Judge Leslie Dutchcot arraigned Penrod Friday afternoon. He is incarcerated at the Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Penrod's preliminary hearing is slated for June 4.

Authorities do not anticipate additional arrests, however, the investigation is ongoing.

Authorities are still working State College police to determine if the incident is connected to similar vandalism at the historic Boalsburg Memorial Cemetery is still being determined.

Anyone who may have information regarding the Boalsburg incident can call State College police at 814-234-7150.

"Police would like to commend the cemetery caretaker for his prompt reporting and protection of the crime scene, the Pine Hall Lutheran Church for their cooperation, and especially Mayes Memorials, who up righted all the grave markers at their own expense," the Ferguson Township Police Department said in a statement.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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