The outside of a house

 

Written by Jenny Goldade

 

Burglars are targeting homes of deceased people and their grieving families who they know are at the funeral. These “Obituary Burglars” read about funeral service times in online obituaries, social media posts, newspaper obituaries, or wherever people share the information.

 

For example, just a few days ago the police arrested a Massachusetts man for multiple robberies of the homes of grieving widows attending their husbands’ funerals. There was even a robbery last month where a woman robbed her mother’s home during her funeral. But this isn’t just something recently happening; these kinds of burglaries have been happening for years.

 

This isn’t something anyone grieving should have to think about, but it’s becoming more common. So how can families protect their homes and valuables from robberies during funerals?

 

Let’s discuss some tips for protecting your home and possessions.

 

Tip #1: Have Someone Watch Your Home

Have a trusted neighbor keep an eye on your home while you’re at the funeral. You may want to tell multiple neighbors, so you have multiple people watching your home in case any of them are busy during the funeral time. You also can ask the police if they’ll do extra patrols around your home during the funeral.

 

If you’re going out of town for the funeral, you may even want to ask a trusted neighbor or friend to stay at your home while you’re away. You should give them your spare key; don’t leave it hidden outside your home somewhere people could easily find, such as under a doormat or in the mailbox. Also don’t leave a note on your door, as this makes it obvious you’re not home.

Tip #2: Create the Illusion Someone is Home

You should leave some lights on or have lights on an automatic timer to create the illusion that someone is home. If you’re only going to be gone for a brief period, you also can leave your TV on. You also can ask a neighbor to collect your mail or any packages you may receive while you’re gone.

 

Tip #3: Have Secure Locks

Always lock your doors, including your garage door, and make sure they work properly and aren’t easy for someone to break into. Lock your windows and lay pieces of wood or metal along the bottom track of the windows so they can’t be opened from the outside. Make sure to shut your drapes or curtains so people can’t easily see inside your home. It also helps to have a home security system with an alarm or even cameras for you to monitor.

 

Tip #4: Lock Away Your Valuables

Lock away your valuables such as money, jewelry, electronic devices, important documents, and other significant items in a safe. If you have a purse, either take it with you or store it inside the safe while you’re away. Or even better, store them in a bank vault or security deposit box so they aren’t in your home at all.

 

What other tips do you have to protect your home from robberies? Share them in the comments!