Recently, burglars have reached an all-time low, with patterns of breaking into homes while families attend funerals. In some cases, burglars scan the obituaries for names, addresses, and times of funerals, so they know exactly when mourning loved ones will be out of the home. In an effort to raise awareness, here are the details on several funeral burglaries across the nation:
On Feb. 22 in Columbus Ohio, while a couple of roommates attended a friend’s funeral, their apartment was burglarized. The roommates came home to discover their windows smashed and their door kicked in. Thieves made off with a laptop, a safe that contained a handgun, and the title to a car. Police suspect that community word-of-mouth got around, and alerted the burglars to the funeral and the time the roommates would be gone.
Known as the “Obituary Burglars” across the state of Washington, two burglars have been roaming from town to town, gleaning information from obituaries and then targeting families while they attend funerals. The burglars have broken into over a dozen places, and have stolen musical instruments, electronics, firearms, and even family heirlooms.
Last summer, a couple returned to their home in Connecticut after the heartbreak of attending their son’s funeral and found their home had been burglarized. The wife, Cindy Hidgon told WLKY news, “I thought, ‘Dear God, you don’t do this.’ They had to be just totally heartless people.” Their home was ransacked, with everything from laptops to jewelry, cash, and guns stolen.
In March, a resident of Clarkson, Kentucky returned from her mother’s funeral to find that her mother’s home had been burglarized during the funeral viewing services. The daughter said that the day of the funeral she wasn’t thinking about locking her mother’s house doors or windows. “There was a lot going on,” she said, with family from out of town and the mourning of her mother. Among the stolen items were a computer, jewelry, and family keepsakes.
It’s sad that during times of mourning and loss, burglars would think to target an already suffering household. Since these types of burglaries are a pattern, keep them in mind. If you’re going to attend a funeral or wake, have a neighbor keep an eye on your home, and advise your loved ones to be mindful of these kinds of tragic break ins.
Photo courtesy of HerryLawford on Flickr.com.