90ºF

Bradford County deputies issue warrant for 'Gravesite Grinch'

Deputies: Jenni Hudkins stole Christmas decorations from cemetery graves

BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. – A warrant has been issued for a "Gravesite Grinch," the Bradford County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday.

Jenni Hudkins, 34, stole hundreds of dollars worth of Christmas decorations and memorabilia this month from several gravesites in Crosby Lake, Conner and Brown's cemeteries, investigators said. 

The thefts have left many families, including the Wheelers, heartbroken. 

"This is all you have left of them and you want to decorate it and all you have is this for people to come see and people rob you," said Kim Wheeler, whose son's grave had decorations stolen from it. "You feel like you just lose them again. It tears you up."

Major Brad Smith told News4Jax that the owner of a thrift store called the Sheriff's Office after Hudkins brought several Christmas decorations and items to her store. 

After looking at the items brought to the thrift store, deputies said they immediately knew Hudkins was the "Gravesite Grinch."

On Thursday, Sheriff Gordon Smith posted a video on Facebook, in which he shares his thoughts about the wanted woman.

"The Grinch couldn't even hold a candle to how low-life an individual would go to someone's gravesite and steal belongings that their loved ones have placed there for them to have in memory and to celebrate the love that they had with this individual that is in the cemetery," Sheriff Smith said. 

The sheriff said it would be in Hudkins' best interest to turn herself in immediately.

"As the sheriff, I'm appalled. I'm disgusted," Sheriff Smith said. "We're going to spend every resource we have to make sure this individual, Ms. Jenni Hudkins, spends Christmas down here at the Bradford County Jail."

The Wheelers said they not only want their items back, but they want Hudkins to stay away from their son's grave.

"For somebody to steal off of a grave, that's the lowest of lows," Stefan Wheeler said. 

According to court records, Hudkins was arrested in 2012 for grand theft, but the charges were dropped. 

Detectives said some of the stolen items have been returned to their owners, but they added that they don't believe Hudkins was working alone, and more arrests could be made. 

Anyone who has information about Hudkins' whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-966-6161.


About the Author: