Thieves target people attending funerals - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Thieves target people attending funerals

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Law enforcement agencies across the country have issued warnings about some well planned attacks. Burglars target families while they're attending funerals.

They get your info from the newspaper obituary, and then rob your house while you're at the cemetery. It's an issue nation-wide, but several people in our area say they've fallen victim to it too over the years. Some funeral homes have programs to protect families from being the target.

When laying your loved ones to rest, you're likely not thinking about what's going on back home, but that's exactly what some thieves are thinking about.

"A home invader is as low on the pole as you can get, but especially during a time of death makes it even worse," Lane Funeral Home President Ed English said.

Comments on the topic are pouring onto our Facebook page and web site from local people who've had it happen to them.

"We came home from the funeral of my 18-year-old brother to find our house ransacked. I will never forget the look of disbelief on my mother's face."

Another wrote, "This happened to my family when my uncle died a couple of months ago."

Obituaries these days don't include addresses, but certain details, like what school they attended, give hints that, with the help of the Internet, can make it possible to find out.

That's why Lane Funeral Home has a free service to help ward off burglars.

"A resident attendant we will provide to come out to their home and stay while they're here at the funeral home," English said.

They also encourage people to notify the police department of the funeral arraignments and request a street patrol during that time. Or you can ask neighbors to keep watch.

"It provides a little extra security, a feeling of security for the families," he said.

But, it's not just houses. He says they've had people break into cars.
 
A Cleveland victim writes, "We were attending the graveside service for my grandmother. While we were gone, someone broke into the family cars that had been left at the funeral home."

Police say the best thing you can do in the case of your car parked at the funeral home, is don't leave valuables in plain site, at least move them to the trunk, because some thieves will sit, watch and wait as people go into the funeral home.

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