Homes Ransacked While Families Mourn - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Homes Ransacked While Families Mourn

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Twice in the past 11 days, once in Union City and this week in Harborcreek, a family has come home from funeral services to find that the house had been ransacked.

Police don't see much of a connection given the distance of the crimes, but say it is not uncommon for thieves to use obituaries to find times when a house can be vulnerable.

"If I was there at the time I would have strangled their necks," Rodney McCray told us. Family members returned from burial services for Rodney's dad in Union City to find that Mom's house had been gone through.

A number of jewelry pieces and money were taken.

Police say thieves often target older survivors, especially those who may have medications in the house.

You can fight back. Despite the distraction of dealing with grief, homeowners can ask neighbors to house sit, they can remove medications immediately that are no longer needed and police say often the homeowners don't even lock up.

Funeral directors say they no longer print addresses in obituaries for just this reason, but add that in an Internet age there are still opportunities for determined thieves. Still, we're told that these crimes are still fairly rare compared with larger cities.

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