- Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - State police and local authorities are warning Indiana residents who recently lost loved ones that burglars in several counties have been scouring obituaries and social media to target families for break-ins while they’re attending funerals.

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy Aaron Shoults told the Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/2nebS27 ) that burglaries seen in his southern Indiana county weren’t random, but part of “a deliberate effort.”

Shoults said at least six homes of the recently deceased or their mourning relatives were burglarized in Lawrence County in the days after an obituary was published.

“The last thing on their mind is someone is going to break into their loved one’s home and that’s exactly what’s happening,” Shoults said.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Ann Wojas said in a statement that burglars have targeted mourning families in Jasper, Newton, Pulaski and Starke counties in northwest Indiana.

“Most of the burglaries have been done by forced entry, but there have been some occurrences where people have just left their doors unlocked,” Wojas said.

Wojas said families can protect themselves by having someone stay at the home during the funeral and memorial services, locking all entryways and installing a security system. She says families can also ask local police for extra patrols on the home while residents are away.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

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