Burglars use information from obituary to target Florida home

Eufemia Didonato

“It’s just too easy to get our information off the internet anymore, and people need to realize that,” the San Pablo woman said.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A San Pablo woman, who wishes to remain anonymous for her safety, said she came home from her father’s funeral Thursday to find medicine missing and most of her jewelry gone.

“My stomach is just, it’s just really torn up,” she described. “It really hurts my heart, some of the rings they got were very sentimental to me.”

She said the Jacksonville Sheriff’s officer who filed the police report believes it likely all started with her father’s online obituary.

“My name was in the obituary that came out on Tuesday. And the officer had thought that was the reason — they had a couple of days to check out the property and decide how they are going to come in,” she explained.

The San Pablo woman wished she would have had a neighbor come over for a few hours while she spent the day with friends and family.

“Have somebody come by the house and just check on the house every now and turn on some lights,” Retired JSO detective Kim Varner said. “You want to make it look like somebody is actually in and out of the house.“ 

He said there are other precautions you can take. 

For example, you can send obituary and funeral information to friends and family directly, instead of posting it on a website before the service for everyone to see. Varner said he’s done this with Facebook before.

“Create a group page in there, and send it to them in messenger. That way, it goes straight to them, and everybody else don’t get to see it,” he explained.

The San Pablo woman just hopes this doesn’t happen to any more grieving families.

“It’s just too easy to get our information off the internet anymore, and people need to realize that. Like everybody else, I never thought that this would happen to me,” she said.


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