Courts & Crime

Men charged after trying to sell brass grave markers in Illinois

Two Columbia men tried to cash in on a stack of brass, but an attentive scrap metal worker noticed the flip side of each heavy plate was etched with a name and two dates.

The 265 pounds of brass traded July 24 for $424 at B and R Recycling in Dupo weren't ordinary plates. They were stolen grave markers.

Brandon L. Ratterman, 36, of 2615 Lakeshore in Columbia, was charged with two counts of theft over $500, and Jeramie S. Reddick, 26, of 3050 Steppig Road in Columbia, was charged with one count of theft over $500.

Ratterman's bail was set at $50,000; Reddicks' bail was set at $20,000.

Ratterman remains in custody at the St. Clair County Jail. Reddick posted bond and was released from jail Wednesday.

On Monday, St. Clair County Sheriff's Investigator Matt Jany was contacted by Dupo police officer Kevin Smith regarding a stack of 17 grave markers believed to be stolen.

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