Missouri Veteran Memorial found with help from social media - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Missouri Veteran Memorial found with help from social media

FARMINGTON, MO (KFVS) -

A Heartland tribute to those who served our country was back in place on Friday night thanks to quick thinking and video surveillance.

Social media can be a powerful tool and when members of the Elk Lodge in Farmington, Missouri realized someone stole pieces of their Veteran's Memorial they turned to Facebook to find them.

"In honor of all veterans, men and women, living and deceased, who have honorably served our country, their freedom may reign. See, I get chocked up,” said Charles Geissing.

"Why does that get you so emotional?"

"I am a veteran,” he said.

Geissing will tell you it's a simple message of 'thanks' to soldiers past, present and future; and one that deserves to be set in stone.

"That is what we do, we honor our military,” he said.

So, when parts of the monument were taken over the Halloween weekend it stunned those it was built for.

"It is still why would anyone steal something like this? It was just unheard of that someone would just desecrate a memorial,” said Geissing.

But that question was soon answered when Elk Lodge members turned to social media for answers.

Security cameras show a man pull up to the lodge in broad daylight and place two pieces of the memorial in the bed of his pickup truck.

"Everyone was trying to figure out whose truck was it, and luckily we did find out whose truck it was,” Geissing explained.

Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker said shortly after the photos were shared, tips came pouring in, which eventually led to the arrest of a 45-year-old Donald Owens.

On Friday, the memorial was back in its original form right outside the front doors of the lodge.

Geissing said it was returned just in time to be donned with flags for this year Veteran's Day.

"I am very happy to have it back here where it belongs,” he said.

According to police, Owens was issued a misdemeanor when they tracked him down at his house, but he was arrested for an outstanding warrant unrelated to this crime.

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