Posted in: Crime

Lowest Of The Low: Thieves Ransack Homes Of Funeral Attendees

criminals target funeral goers

Authorities are issuing a warning to loved ones of the recently deceased to be aware of a growing criminal trend – thieves who, as despicable as it sounds, burglarize the homes of those attending funerals.

Indecently, the raiding band of ruffians target and prey on the vulnerable, families who have recently lost someone and post information in obituaries or online regarding the arrangements – data the criminals use to their advantage to orchestrate robberies.

In one unfortunate tale, mentioned on Today, Cindy and Dennis Higdon of Kentucky had lost their son Christian, 20, last June.

While laying their child to rest, thieves ransacked the couple’s residence – going as far as taking sentimental items from the young man’s bedroom, along with jewelry, electronics, and other valuables.

Three suspects involved in the Higdon robbery, and responsible for several others, were later caught and charged.

The Daily Journal reports two men in New Jersey, 41-year-old Andrew McCloskey of Williamstown, and 28-year-old Nichelle Thau of Sicklerville, were both arrested and indicted on Friday in connection to several recent break-ins in the surrounding area. They too coordinated their crimes to those attending funerals using obituaries.

Police assert the duo checked the obituaries of the recently deceased, located addresses, and then robbed the homes while family and friends were at the funeral services.

In Medford, both McCloskey and Thau were charged on two counts of burglary, two counts of theft, one count of criminal mischief, and possession of a handgun. McCloskey was also charged in Franklin with burglary, theft, criminal mischief, trespassing, and weapons possession.

Larger, similar burglarizing rings have cropped up in areas like Seattle, victimizing the bereft and stealing thousands in money and personal valuables from as many as 10 homes at a time of those attending the same funeral.

Although the pathetic criminals are often caught, the sting of the blatant disrespect and utter offensiveness is traumatizing to those in mourning.

Police recommend when composing an obituary to not include the full names of immediate surviving family members, complete addresses, or details about hometowns. The more information provided, the easier it is for criminals to take advantage. Additionally, if it is at all possible, have someone house-sit or monitor the home – such as a friend or neighbor – and have them report anything suspicious.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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6 Responses to “Lowest Of The Low: Thieves Ransack Homes Of Funeral Attendees”

  1. Gwendolyn Walker

    at least 1o yrs….equal to the 10 or 15 minutes it took for them to rob the people…

  2. Zoe Winthrop

    Why say where you live anyway. Your loved ones that count know where you live. You only have to post where the funeral will be and notify your friends and family by mail. I thought people did that anyway nowadays. When I have gone to funerals now, it seemed more like a wedding without the Bride and Groom attending.

  3. Jennifer Sherman

    Some people make me sick!!!! Freaking get a damn job. Read a book or write a letter in your past time. Lets try something other then robbing people that are vulnerable!!! At least 10-15 years for sure. That's why I own a Cane Corso, a Boxer and my all time favorite…. Pit Bull!!!! Stupid people piss me off.

  4. Alaina Duval

    30 yrs because what they did is sickening and wrong and they obviously didn't care about what those people are going through they lose their loved ones and now they lose mostly all the household necessities but house hold necessities are replaceable loved ones aren't

  5. Karen Thorburn

    This is not a new problem; back in the 50's the church ladies would come to the home during the funeral, not only to prepare the food for those returning from the funeral but also to be a presence inthe home against theives. Sadly, the problem persists, and without "church ladies" or willing friends this vandalism will continue.

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