Ontario Provincial Police in Middlesex and Elgin counties have issued a warning to members of the public about making funeral details public.
They are asking area residents to be cautious about sharing details of funeral arrangements online and in area newspapers.
An OPP spokesperson told Global News there have been an increasing number of break-ins that can be connected to funerals.
“Jewelry, money, cash, passports, wallets, electronics,” OPP Const. Chad Murray told Global News AM980. “We haven’t really seen large items be removed that are not able to be basically grabbed quickly. It seems like it’s just a quick grab of whatever is available.”
According to an OPP statement, officers are warning to be careful that address information is not shared through Canada411 or other online directories.
“Because what is happening is people are lining up the obituary and doing their own searches via Canada411 and they’re able to connect dots and see that people will be away,” Murray said. “So we need to be mindful and vigilant of this.”
He says people need to understand how readily available information is these days.
“Mainly people need to be cognizant of what is available online about them,” Murray said. “So whether that be their address, telephone number, their dates of birth — all that information that people put online is now readily available to anyone. So people need to be very mindful about what they’re publishing and putting on the internet about themselves.”
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“Homes of the deceased and family members of the deceased named in the obituary have been victims of this,” Murray said via email.
Police are also suggesting that members of the public always tell a trusted neighbour or family member if they are planning to be away from their home for an extended period of time.
OPP say they are continuing to investigate the incidents and are asking anyone with information to contact their local police force, the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.