Burglars target people at funerals in Starke and Pulaski counties
A string of burglaries in multiple counties has communities on high alert.
Indiana State Police say these burglaries happened over the past year -- some in Pulaski and Starke counties. They say these burglaries are happening to people while they're away at either a funeral or memorial.
Indiana State Police say thieves are finding information for potential victims by reading obituaries in newspapers and online.
Braman and Sons Memorial Chapel in Knox has been in business for more than 70 years. The funeral director, Howard Bailey, says he was aware of recent home burglaries in the area.
"We've always made it a practice here for years -- when we run obituaries for families we never use their home address. We'll use the city or town they are from," said Bailey.
Law enforcement officials say in some cases the thieves broke in, but some victims left their doors unlocked.
They say the best way to protect your home is by having someone stay behind. If not, make sure you have a security system, and secure it with locks that are not easy to break. Also beware of what you post on social media.
"Social media in a small town especially is some people's biggest form of news source, and it travels fast so just be careful what they put on social media," said Bailey.
Another tip, alert local police so that they can patrol the area near your home during the time of mourning.
Bailey says in this small town everyone knows each other and they all try and look out for one another.
"Sometimes they are in a state of shock and they're not necessarily thinking with clear heads, and for someone to come it and take advantage of people like that, that's ridiculous. We don't care for those kind of people to be in our community, frankly," said Bailey.